‘A Painter Not Human’

In October 1608, the fractious painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio made a daring escape from a Maltese prison and set sail for the Sicilian port of Messina. Perhaps he chose Messina because he could count on a network of friends and protectors there, but perhaps, as the Italian art historian Mia Cinotti has suggested, he went for an entirely different reason: to see the works of a long-dead artist named Antonello, who in his radically different way shared Caravaggio’s obsessions with light and with the fathomless depths of the human soul.

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