Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Garden of Evil

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The Garden of Evil

by David Hewson

The Garden of Evil
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2008, 480 pages
    Feb 2009, 592 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book


A painting presumed to be by the 17th century painter Caravaggio is central to the plot of The Garden of Evil. The work found (which is purely fictional) is purported to be the artist's copy of an actual oil by Annibale Carracci, entitled Venus with a Satyr and Cupids.

Caravaggio is one of the most fascinating and influential artists of the early Baroque era.* He was born Michelangelo Merisi, in Milan on 8 September 1573. The family moved to the small town of Caravaggio in Lombardy in 1576, and it is from this city that he took his name. After the death of his father, a master builder, in 1584 Caravaggio was apprenticed to Simone Peterzano, a painter in Milan of the school of Titian. His apprenticeship expired five years later, and he subsequently made his way to Rome.

Desperately poor, Caravaggio hired himself out doing odd jobs in various painters' studios. No job lasted long, perhaps due to his explosive temper. He was eventually hired by ...

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