Marlboro College

News Caravaggio and the Art of Violence, a lecture by John Varriano, April 19

MARLBORO, VT - (April 7, 2010) - Marlboro College will present a free, open to the public lecture, "Caravaggio and the Art of Violence," by John Varriano on Monday, April 19 at 7:00pm in Ragle Hall.

Caravaggio's art, and his life, were filled with violence.  Modern critics tend to evaluate both in terms of the moral and social standards of their own time and place. But in this original paper, Professor Varriano examines the visual and documentary evidence in light of the behavioral and devotional norms of the artist's own day.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Revered as the father of Early-Modernism, Caravaggio successfully captured the most elite audiences in the heart of papal Italy with paintings that inspired renewed devotional awe and shocked those same patrons with unprecedented naturalism and visceral, bloody details.  From his signature in the pooled blood of his depiction of John the Baptist, to his self-portrait in the guise of Goliath's decapitated head, Caravaggio's work captivates audiences with a spirit that is at once moving and unsettling.

John Varriano is a retired professor of European Art at Mount Holyoke, where he also served four terms as chair of the Department of Art. He has a special interest in the art and architecture of seventeenth-century Rome and has published more than three dozen specialized studies in his field, including the 2006 book, Caravaggio and the Art of Realism.

For more information, contact the Marlboro College Public Relations department at 802-251-7644 or In the event of inclement weather, please call 802-451-7151 for cancellation information.

For over 60 years, Marlboro College has offered undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, master's degree programs for working adults in the areas of educational technology, internet technologies, health care administration and an MBA in Managing for Sustainability. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 300-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.



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