Francesco Zucconi, Displacing Caravaggio : Art, Media, and Humanitarian Visual Culture, 2018


This book takes its start from a series of attempts to use Caravaggio’s works for contem­po­rary huma­ni­ta­rian commu­ni­ca­tions. How did his Slee­ping Cupid (1608) end up on the island of Lampe­dusa, at the heart of the Medi­ter­ra­nean migrant crisis ? And why was his pain­ting The Seven Works of Mercy (1607) requested for display at a number of huma­ni­ta­rian public events ? After critical reflec­tion on these signi­fi­cant trans­fers of Caravaggio’s work, Fran­cesco Zucconi takes Baroque art as a point of depar­ture to guide readers through some of the most haun­ting and compel­ling images of our time. Each chapter analyzes a different form of media and explores a problem that ties toge­ther art history and huma­ni­ta­rian commu­ni­ca­tions : from Caravaggio’s attempt to represent life itself as a subject of pain­ting to the way bodies and emotions are presented in NGO campaigns. What emerges from this probing inquiry at the inter­sec­tion of art theory, media studies and poli­tical philo­sophy is an original critical path in huma­ni­ta­rian visual culture.