Caravaggio Andrew Graham-Dixon Penguin In 16th-century Lombardy, there were various penalties for inflicting wounds: depriving someone of a testicle incurred a 200-lire fine and castration was priced at 500 lire. Andrew Graham-Dixon includes this sort of fascinating information to give readers a sense of the society that shaped, supported, then exiled Caravaggio. The Italian artist - whose dark, tenebrist works gave birth to a new school of painting - had killed a foe, possibly by trying to castrate him and possibly in a dispute over a prostitute. Graham-Dixon took more than 10 years to write this biography and says that while frustrating, the decade allowed him to incorporate discoveries that deepen our understanding of the artist, including perhaps what killed him at age 38. Although the author devotes much of his book to Caravaggio's art, explaining, for example, what lay behind his theatrical religious paintings, he also presents a satisfying portrait of his subject, suggesting that his fiery temperament owed much to 'painter's colic'.