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Hilary SpurlingGiven the near-total lack of documentary evidence and the elusive nature of [Caravaggio] himself, it is hardly surprising that fictional techniques have penetrated in some ways further and more surely than the sterner disciplines of art history. Graham-Dixon…ably combines the two in Caravaggio. He makes the most of Italian criminal records…to provide graphic glimpses of the young Caravaggio squabbling, fighting, trading threats and insults, smashing plates in restaurants and slashing opponents with knife or sword. The only other available source is the art, to which Graham-Dixon brings the kind of imaginative and emotional intelligence that gives life and point to painstaking research.
—The New York Times Book Review