Art News

London-Based Art Historian Clovis Whitfield Finds Answers to Some of the Mysteries of Caravaggio

LONDON.- An important new study of Caravaggio by a leading international expert stands the conventional modern view of this controversial painter on its head. Caravaggio’s Eye by Clovis Whitfield rejects the current obsession with Caravaggio as a violent street brawler reputed to have been homosexual and instead provides a compelling picture of a revolutionary whose grasp of new technology threatened the artistic establishment’s very existence. Whitfield, a London-based art historian and dealer in Old Master Paintings, finds answers to some of the mysteries of Caravaggio’s success by regarding him as an artisan who stumbled across a revolutionary way of capturing the appearance of what he saw around him. His revolution was one of technique rather than style and involved the sophisticated use of a camera obscura and so-called ‘burning’ or parabolic mirrors. By exploiting new advances in glassmaking and optics and the