[MR] BBC & Others: Carvaggio's Arrest Record

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Sun May 16 02:59:19 PDT 2021

Noble Friends,

This is a blast from the past. This morning while reading a BBC piece about
the Torlonia Marbles, I noticed a link to a 2011 story about Carvaggio's
arrest record. Hot dog! Dish the dirt! It seems the famous painter had a
rap sheet as long as his arm, to use modern TV cop argot. His most frequent
charge was carrying arms without a licence, usually a sword and dagger. He
was usually able to weasel out of these charges through protection by his
rich patrons, including high churchmen.

Carvaggio was also involved in various assaults. He finally had to flee
Rome and a Papal death sentence for offing a gangster and possible pimp
named Ranuccio Tommasoni in a duel. After wounding Tommasoni, Carvaggio
castrated the man before stabbing him to death. While in exile on Malta he
was inducted into the Knights of Malta as their official painter, then
expelled for housebreaking and assault against another knight.

Here is the BBC story:  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-12497978 .
Another version was published by the Carvaggio Gallery:

Carvaggio died in 1610, probably at or near Porto Ercole in Tuscany. There
are many conflicting theories about his demise, including being offed by
hit men sent by Tommasoni's family, or by agents of the Maltese Knight he
had assaulted. Syphilis, malaria, pneumonia, brucellosis have all been
suggested. Lead poisoning from his own paints is another possibility, and
could account for his erratic and violent behavior.

A body confirmed to be Carvaggio was exhumed from a church in Porto Ercole.
Tests confirmed lead poisoning, but the actual cause of death was
determined to be sepsis caused by staphylococcus aureus. This was probably
the result of wounds Carvaggio received during a recent brawl in Naples,
allegedly with hit men sent by the Knights of Malta who had been shadowing
the painter.

Wikipedia has an excellent bio sketch of Carvaggio:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravaggio .

And those Torlonia Marbles? Try https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-57030067 .
This story proves that anyone can become a prince . . .  if they have
enough money.

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

More information about the Atlantia mailing list