The Cardsharps, one of the paintings that launched Caravaggio's spectacular career in Rome, captured the turbulent social reality of the city in the 1590s. This early masterpiece not only documented one of the everyday activities of Rome's citizens, but its vivid, lifelike style also opened the door to a revolutionary naturalism that would spread throughout Europe.
Helen Langdon, the scholar whose illuminating Caravaggio: A Life became a best-seller, returns to her subject and his milieu in this new, richly illustrated volume. She sets Caravaggio's Cardsharps within the context of contemporaneous literature, art theory, and theater and incorporates new archival research to enliven our understanding of the painter's time, place, and contemporaries. By fully analyzing one of Caravaggio's most daringly novel works, Langdon demonstrates the significant influence he had on the future of European art.