Russia: How Caravaggio, Picasso and O. Henry were criminals


5 crime scenes from art history

Everybody knows about writers, poets and artists who have faced the law because of their political views or radical creative methods. Indeed, the criminal pages of the biographies of the greats are known a little worse. On the birthday of François Villon, who became famous for robberies no less than for poetry, we tell how Caravaggio, Picasso, Apollinaire, O. Henry and others violated the law and what came of it

The first story in which Caravaggio misses and kills a pimp

One of the greatest masters of the Italian Baroque, Caravaggio was a worthy successor of Villon’s work in contempt for social norms. In painting, he did not feel respect for either classical models or the ideals of the beautiful, which later earned him the title of reformer. Caravaggio portrayed saints in modern clothes, painted goddesses from courtesans and was one of the first in the history of art to be accused that all his artistic principles were only to shock the public. For the public, and indeed for people, Caravaggio also did not feel respect: he had a hot-tempered temperament, easily irritated, went on to insults, and often used a dagger. Once he smashed a plate on the head of a food peddler in a tavern, another time he beat a notary, then tried to stab a friend on the street, who took the risk of criticizing his work. He was arrested more than once, fined and even sent to prison, but his acquaintances, the cardinals and his main patron, the banker and philanthropist Vincenzo Giustignani, saved him. In 1606, this riotous life came to an end.

On May 29, 1606, Caravaggio went to one of the Roman royal tennis courts to sort things out with a young man named Ranuccio Tomassoni. The conversation turned into a fight, Tomassoni was killed, and Pope Paul V outlawed the artist. This meant that from now on, anyone could kill Caravaggio, and even receive a reward for it. Pope and Caravaggio had their own scores: a year earlier, he ordered him a Madonna for St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, and Caravaggio invited his favorite model, a courtesan, to pose. The painting hung in the cathedral for several days, after which it was decided to remove it from sin. Subsequently, it was sold to the nephew of Paul V, Cardinal Shipione Borghese – it still hangs in the Borghese gallery.

What exactly happened between Caravaggio and Tomassoni has long been the subject of speculation. Biographers and researchers agreed that Tomassoni was a pimp, Caravaggio decided to emasculate him, but in the heat he missed a little and hit the femoral artery with a knife, causing him to bleed. It is true that it was not known what initially caused the conflict. The most common version was that they argued over the results of gambling, which, however, was not very consistent with the nature of the injuries.

Caravaggio.  "Madonna and Child and St. Anne", 1606. Painting commissioned by Pope Paul V for St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome

Caravaggio. “Madonna and Child and St. Anne”, 1606. Painting commissioned by Pope Paul V for St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome

Photo: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio / Location Galleria Borghese, Rome

In 2002, the BBC released the documentary Who Killed Caravaggio, and its author, art historian and journalist Andrew Graham-Dixon, who was admitted to the Vatican archives on this matter, dispelled doubts – they swore over a woman. She was the courtesan Phyllide Melandroni – she worked and slept with both persons involved in the incident, and it was her that Caravaggio wrote in St. Catherine of Alexandria and Judith and Holoferna. Why such an obvious explanation remained on the sidelines for so long, Graham-Dixon also explained: “Murder because of a woman did not fit well with the prevailing narrative about Caravaggio’s homosexuality. They used to see him as a connoisseur of masculine beauty, although, apparently, he appreciated feminine beauty too. “

Outlawed, Caravaggio fled from Rome, first to Naples, then to Malta (where he also managed to be in prison), then to Sicily. In exile, he wrote most of his most famous works, including David with the Head of Goliath, Saint Jerome, Bacchus, and the Head of Medusa. He never returned to Rome. In 1610, simultaneously with the news of the death of the artist, a papal decree on his pardon was issued. For a long time it was believed that syphilis was the cause of his death (the prevailing narrative dominated here too), but in 2018 The Lancet published an article claiming that the cause was staphylococcus aureus.

Who else was distinguished by a violent disposition:

Benvenuto Cellini:

The famous sculptor, painter, poet, jeweler, soldier, musician and priest, Cellini killed three times (at least), including the murderer of his own brother, was twice convicted of sodomy, and also sat in prison on false charges of stealing jewelry from the papal tiara …

Sergey Yesenin:

Yesenin went into a fight on any occasion – in St. Petersburg they always learned about his arrival from reports of drunken clashes with the police (which, by the way, he was terribly afraid of). Yesenin beat enemies, women, colleagues and friends; by the end of his life, about 13 drives hung on him. Because of poetry, he also fought – it is known that they received from him for his love for Pasternak and the sworn enemy of Mayakovsky.

Ernest Hemingway:

Hemingway, whose rather warm attitude to violence is known to any of his readers, was a boxing enthusiast and popularizer all his life, but in ordinary life he preferred a simple fight. Among the famous victims of his heavy hand was, for example, Orson Welles. The 22-year-old then aspiring actor voiced Hemingway’s documentary about the Spanish Civil War and, during the first session, offered to edit the offscreen text, after which he was immediately laid on the floor with a blow to the jaw. However, Hemingway also quickly departed, and many of those who got in the face from him later became his friends.

Frank Sinatra:

The list of people who were attacked by Sinatra – and he was allowed almost everything in the status of the main American star – is long: he repeatedly beat his wives, journalists and neighbors on airplanes, hotels and restaurant tables. The list of things he destroyed in fits of rage is also impressive: paintings by Norman Rockwell, vases of the Ming dynasty, and numerous radios from which The Doors could be heard. He did not particularly like the latter.

Norman Mailer:

The author of “The Naked and the Dead” and “The American Dream”, a famous brawler who turned public skirmishes into a separate art form (his main “enemies” were Truman Capote and Susan Sontag), often switched from witticisms to physical violence. In 1960, for example, he nearly stabbed his wife to death when she told him that Dostoevsky writes better than he does. He was not sent to prison then, but he was sent to a psychiatric hospital.

The second story, in which Edward Muybridge kills his wife’s lover and gets off easily

Edward Muybridge.  From the series "Man and Animal in Motion", 1887

Edward Muybridge. From the series “Man and Animal in Motion”, 1887

Photo: Eadweard Muybridge, Human and Animal Locomotion, Philadelphia, 1887

In 1872, the former governor of California, one of the main investors in the first American transcontinental railway, the future founder of Stanford University and simply the great master of the Grand Lodge of New York State Freemasons Leland Stanford argued with his friends. He, an avid rider, believed that during a gallop, a horse at some point lifts all four legs off the ground at the same time, his friends argued the opposite. Stanford’s friend, photographer and engineer Edward Muybridge, was to decide the dispute. The outcome of this dispute is known to everyone: Muybridge proved that yes, it does, and in the process actually created a prototype of cinema – he showed photographs of a moving horse on a zoopraxiscope, a device he invented for reproducing moving pictures. Less well known is the other part of this story, in which Stanford had to rescue Muybridge from prison.

The first series of photographs of the Stanford project was taken immediately, the second – a year later, but Muybridge’s personal life was distracted from bringing the case to an end. In 1871, 41-year-old Muybridge decided to say goodbye to the bachelor lifestyle and married 21-year-old Flora Stone. The marriage was not happy – the spouses, according to rumors, did not agree on characters: Muybridge refused to go with his wife to theaters and receptions, and it was rumored that the young wife was having affairs on the side. In 1874, they had a child, but rather quickly Muybridge had reason to believe that the child was not his, but a family friend of Harry Larkins, with whom his wife had a long-term relationship. After questioning the nanny, Muybridge received a stack of Larkins’ love letters to Flora, after which he armed himself with a pistol and went to his lover to sort it out. With the words “I have a message from my wife,” he shot Larkins in broad daylight.

Illustration from London News.  Edward Muybridge demonstrates to the public the results of his experiments, 1889

Illustration from London News. Edward Muybridge demonstrates to the public the results of his experiments, 1889

Photo: R. Taylor / The Illustrated London News

The arrest of Muybridge – by that time the most famous photographer – caused a real scandal: a line of reporters lined up at the prison where he was held awaiting trial, who reported that the master was in a good mood and even was working among inmates – he preached political correctness and protected from racist attacks. Stanford, meanwhile, launched a real special operation to save Muybridge: eagerly awaiting the results of the filming and the outcome of the dispute, he hired the best lawyers for him. They built their defense on the fact that Muybridge was simply insane – they say, the consequences of a stagecoach accident, in which he received severe head injuries, affected. Several witnesses under oath confirmed that after the accident, he really changed a lot. The accused himself, however, did not show any remorse and with all his behavior demonstrated, that the murder was committed with intent, and not in a state of passion. The court, oddly enough, Muybridge was acquitted, having ruled that his actions were committed, though not within the framework of the law, but under justifying circumstances, in other words, that anyone in his place would have done the same. The secular chroniclers of America continued to discuss the matter for another six months.

Muybridge himself, after the trial, fled from the scandal to Central America, where he spent seven months. When he returned, he began the final part of the Stanford project. In 1878, the results were shown to the public, who at first tried in vain to find deception there. Stanford won the bet, Flora Stone got a divorce, Muybridge continued to work. In 1981, Philip Glass wrote the opera The Photographer based on the incident, and three years ago it was announced that Gary Oldman was going to film it.

Whose relationship has not yet been brought to good:

Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine:

Thanks to the novel by Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, mankind received several great poems, but for them this relationship ended badly: one was almost killed, the other went to prison. In 1873, after another quarrel, Verlaine shot Rimbaud and hit him in the wrist. Horrified at what he had done, he gave the pistol to Rimbaud, insisting that he kill him. Rimbaud refused, and they went to the hospital, but did not make it to her. On the rue Verlaine started a new quarrel, took out his pistol again, and then Rimbaud ran to the policeman passing by. Rimbaud was taken to the hospital, and Verlaine was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison.

William Burroughs and his wife:

On September 6, 1951, in the midst of a party in his own house, aspiring writer William Burroughs announced to the guests that he wanted to shoot his pistol, which he was trying to sell that day, in the style of William Tell. His wife Joan (both very drunk) immediately put a glass on her head, and William missed. The incident completely turned his life upside down: after more than 30 years, he argued that if it had not been for Joan’s death, he would never have become a writer and that all his writing was shaped by that tragic incident.

Carlo Gesualdo, his wife and her lover:

The Italian composer of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, known for his unique chromatic style, married in 1586, and in 1588 his wife had a lover. At what point it became known to Gesualdo himself, it is not known exactly, but on the night of October 17, 1590, he caught the lovers red-handed and killed both of them. According to the most common version, Gesualdo himself set up a trap for them, according to the other, third parties were involved in the case, and Gesualdo himself was trapped, whom they tried to discredit and deprive of his position in this way (he belonged to an influential family). Be that as it may, the double murder caused a real scandal, but the court found Gesualdo innocent, since such a murder was considered a normal defense of his honor.

Raphael and his mistress:

Raphael did not kill anyone, but he himself became a victim of an ardent passion. In any case, this point of view was defended by Giorgio Vasari: he argued that the cause of Raphael’s death was too hot sex with his Roman mistress and model Margherita Luti, captured by him in the painting “Fornarina”. According to Vasari, the fever that killed Raphael over the next 15 days was caused by the emotional and physical exhaustion of an ardent lover and aggravated by inappropriate treatment, as Raphael hesitated to tell doctors the true cause of his condition. In the years that followed, Vasari’s version gave rise to the belief that Raphael died of a venereal disease, but last year, at the height of the coronavirus, Italian researchers said that Raphael actually died of a lung disease.

The third story, in which O. Henry escapes from the court and befriends a train robber

The short story classic, or “American Chekhov,” as they liked to call him in the press, rose to fame while in jail in Columbus, Ohio. He got there in 1898 on dubious charges of embezzlement. In 1891, O. Henry got a job as a cashier and accountant at the First National Bank of Austin. He did not work too hard and devoted all his free time, and partly his working time, to his samizdat – the humorous magazine The Rolling Stone, which he managed to bring to a circulation of 1,500 copies. The negligent attitude towards work ended badly: in 1894 he was fired for embezzlement, but charges were not brought – perhaps the bank’s owners were also dishonest. In 1895, when he had already left Austin, federal auditors came to the bank – having discovered embezzlement, they brought formal charges against O. Henry.

Over the next four years, so many events happened that would be enough for more than one adventure romance. In 1896, O. Henry was summoned to court, but he, instead of appearing before the court, which most likely would have acquitted him (his father-in-law had already vouched for him), decided to flee: first he drove to New Orleans on the crossbars, and then moved to Honduras, which at that time did not extradite criminals to the United States. In Honduras, he lived only six months, but what kind. First, he wrote the stories that formed the basis of his first and only novel, Kings and Cabbage. Secondly, he made friends with Al Jennings – a great American raider and robber with his code of honor (he did not rob priests and women), who in the future will become a Western star and a preacher and will write a book about friendship with O. Henry. day “.

O. Henry returned to his homeland after learning that his wife, who remained in America with her parents, was dying of tuberculosis. She had their seven-year-old daughter Margaret in her arms. After returning to the United States, O. Henry lived quietly with relatives for some time, but in 1898 he was brought to trial. Of the $ 6 thousand shortfall by this time, the bank had contributed $ 5.5 thousand, the remaining $ 500 were ready to pay for the relatives, but O. Henry was still sentenced to five years in prison. In 1901 he was released on parole.

In prison, O. Henry, licensed as a pharmacist (one of his many professions), worked in a pharmacy, and in his free time he wrote humorous stories, passing them on to print through friends. The fact that the new hope of the American story is a prisoner was carefully hidden from the public. He was released from prison as an accomplished writer and in 1904 published the stories “Kings and Cabbage” collected from Honduran stories, becoming not only a classic of American literature, but also a man on the run from justice coined the term “banana republic”.

Who else was friends with criminals:

Jack Kerouac:

Jack Kerouac

In 1947, Jack Kerouac met Neil Cassidy, a petty thief and professional car thief who first went to jail at the age of 14. This is how the history of the beat generation began. Cassidy, dubbed the “world famous prototype,” will hang out, sleep, travel and drop stuff for Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and Ken Kesey. They will all write off their most famous characters from him and become living classics.

Truman Capote:

Truman Capote

While working on the novel “Murder in cold”, based on a real event – the brutal murder of a family of four in 1959 in Kansas, Capote met the real persons involved in the case – Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. The first to become interested in Capote is not a piece – he interviewed him in prison, while he was waiting for the death penalty, corresponded, there were even rumors that the writer had fallen in love. At Smith’s request, Capote attended his execution: in 1965, he was hanged in the backyard of a prison in Lansing, Kansas.

Francis Bacon:

Francis Bacon

Partner and muse of Francis Bacon, the hero of one of the artist’s most famous paintings “Portrait of the Talking George Dyer”, George Dyer was a thief by his first profession. For a long time there was a legend that he met Bacon by breaking into his studio. In fact, it was more prosaic – both loved to drink and met in the Soho Rooms bar, where they go to drink all the color of artistic London. Dyer, who will be with Bacon for eight years (he committed suicide in 1971, a few days before the opening of the retrospective of his lover), did not lose his manners, living with the artist, and could calmly rob someone at the opening day. Needless to say, Bacon loved it.

Martin Scorsese:

Martin Scorsese

The hero of one of the best documentaries by Martin Scorsese “American Guy” is a friend, drug dealer, security guard and director Stephen Prince “decided” in the 1970s. The film is a carefully directed monologue by Scorsese about the prince’s wild life. It is to this film that we owe the famous scene with the injection of adrenaline to the heroine Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction” – Tarantino borrowed the story from the life of the Prince, told in “American Boy”.

The fourth story, in which Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire almost end up in prison for stealing the Mona Lisa

The empty wall of the Legislative Hall in the Louvre, where the Mona Lisa hung, 1911

The empty wall of the Legislative Hall in the Louvre, where the Mona Lisa hung, 1911

Photo: The Century Company

On the night of September 5, 1911, two men roamed the streets of Montmartre in Paris. The first was the 30-year-old painter Pablo Picasso, who at that time was engaged in the development of Cubism, but in the city he was better known as the “leader of the Picasso gang”, which included all the avant-garde young creators of Paris, harassing the local bourgeois. The second was his friend, the 31-year-old poet Guillaume Apollinaire: by this time he had not yet released his immortal “Alcohol”, but was a member of Puteaux’s group, which was developing the theoretical foundations of the new art. The friends had a suitcase in their hands, which they planned to dump into the Seine. It contained Iberian figurines stolen from the Louvre from the museum’s display of pre-Christian artifacts. The figurines, strictly speaking, belonged to Picasso, but he bought them from the former secretary of Apollinaire Honoré-Joseph Géry Pierre, who by this time had been quietly robbing the main museum of the French capital for several years. Apollinaire, who had not only a working relationship with the secretary, helped him. Picasso and Apollinaire were hysterical: two weeks earlier, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” was taken out of the Louvre in broad daylight, and serious checks began in the museum. Both were convinced that they were already being followed.

Pablo Picasso.  "Maidens of Avignon", 1907. Picasso's biographers claim that this picture was painted from the very Iberian figurines stolen from the Louvre

Pablo Picasso. “Maidens of Avignon”, 1907. Picasso’s biographers claim that this picture was painted from the very Iberian figurines stolen from the Louvre

Photo: Pablo Picasso / Museum of Modern Art

The fact that da Vinci’s painting had disappeared from the museum became known on August 22. In the morning, the artist Louis Beraud came there, famous among collectors for his sketches from the Louvre. On that day, he was going to make a copy of Mona Lisa, but did not find it on the wall. He turned to the guards in the hall, who suggested that the painting was taken to the photographic department of the museum, which had a reputation for being the most unceremonious in the Louvre. The photographers told Beraud that the painting had not been seen and that it was most likely sent for restoration. By noon, the museum was closed in panic, and the police officers who arrived at the scene just shrugged. The next day, the press got involved, a national wanted list was announced, and the Journal de Paris announced a reward of 50,000 francs. Rumors spread throughout the city that the painting was generally poorly guarded, and a few weeks before the incident, a reporter managed to sneak into the museum and spend the night in one of the sarcophagi, which proved that the museum’s security service had serious problems. The whole world followed the search: “Mona Lisa” became the most famous painting on the planet, and queues lined up to look at the empty wall in the Louvre, which opened a week later. Even Franz Kafka visited one of them and wrote in his diary: “Excitement and crowds of people, as if the Mona Lisa had just been stolen.”

The investigation had no real suspects, and Picasso and Apollinaire, who did not dare to drown the loot, came in very handy. How the investigation found out that the friends had stolen artifacts from the museum is difficult to establish reliably – the testimonies of the participants diverged. Be that as it may, on September 8, Apollinaire was arrested, and Picasso was summoned for interrogation. The press happily announced that the friends are the leaders of an international gang of radical artists who loot museums around the world. Apollinaire was preparing for death, Picasso suddenly announced that he did not know him, but the judge took pity on them. It was clear that such idiots could not steal the Mona Lisa, and the case was closed.

The painting was discovered two years later in Italy – it turned out that it was stolen by the artist Vincenzo Perugia, who worked in the Louvre, who wanted to return it to his homeland (he did manage to spend the night in the museum). They say that Picasso and Apollinaire after the incident offered to burn the Louvre.

What other works of art were stolen under ridiculous circumstances:

“Indifferent” by Antoine Watteau:

Another black day in the history of the Louvre happened in 1939, when the artist Serge Boguslavsky, in broad daylight, unceremoniously took from the museum his favorite painting by Proust. He simply removed it from the wall, and when asked by the guards, he replied that he was carrying it out to restore. The guards did not interfere with him, and Boguslavsky really “restored” the painting – he almost destroyed the canvas with car varnish, and then he himself brought the painting to the Parisian Palace of Justice. What the French newspapers wrote about the Louvre administration at that time, it is better not to remember.

20 paintings from the Van Gogh Museum:

In April 1991, two armed men carried 20 paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The thieves spent 45 minutes choosing the pieces they wanted, and 35 minutes later the masterpieces were found abandoned in a car parked at the nearest train station. Newspapers called it the strangest art theft in the country. During the investigation, it turned out that the paintings were supposed to be handed over to accomplices and taken out of the country, but the car on which it was planned to do this had a flat tire and it did not arrive at the meeting place.

Graphics by Salvador Dali:

For decades, Rikers Prison in New York has hung a drawing by Salvador Dali, donated by the artist in 1965 as an apology for canceling an art class. The work first hung in the prison cafeteria, but then it was decided to move it to the lobby – in the cafeteria, ketchup was regularly dripped on it. In 2003, four prison guards set off fire alarms and stole the drawing in the confusion. Maybe they would even have gotten away with it if they had not hung another drawing in Dali’s place, believing that no one would notice the substitution of some scribbles by others. They were, of course, quickly figured out.

“Over Vitebsk” by Marc Chagall:

In the midst of a cocktail party in honor of the opening of the Marc Chagall exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2001, a painting worth about $ 1 million was stolen. In its place was left a note from the International Committee for Art and Peace, which said that while the conflict between Israel and Palestine will not be allowed, no one will see the picture. How the museum will deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict, the criminals did not wait: eight months later, the painting was found at the post office in Kansas.

Banksy’s Umbrella Girl:

In 2014, in New Orleans, two unknown persons tried to cut a piece of a wall with Banksy graffiti from a building. When asked by concerned residents of neighboring houses, they replied that the work was needed for the Banksy exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. Photos of the process of their work were immediately published on Facebook, and the police arrived at the scene, who even contacted the galleries, where, of course, they had not heard anything about the exhibition. The kidnappers, however, had already escaped by this time.

The fifth story, in which Jean Genet tries to steal Paul Verlaine’s “Gallant Festivities” and is protected by all of Paris

“Jean Genet brought me his novel. Three hundred incredible pages that make up the mythology of homosexuals, ”wrote director, poet and artist Jean Cocteau in February 1943 in his diary. The whole color of marginal Paris went to bow to him, but Zhenet stood out even against this background. By the age of 32, he managed to go to a juvenile prison for petty theft, escape from there, thunder again, enroll in the Foreign Legion, defect from there with officer’s equipment and serve time for vagrancy and the use of forged documents. Former lovers and clients helped to meet Cocteau Genet, who sometimes worked on the panel. A few days later, Cocteau continued: “The book here, in the apartment, is extraordinary, incomprehensible, unpublished, inevitable … For me, this is the greatest event of the era. She disgusts me, repels me, astonishes …

“Our Lady of Flowers,” the story of a drag queen who, on her deathbed, remembers her pimps and lovers, wrote to Zhenet in prison, where he got for an unsuccessful theft from a second-hand bookstore. He brought out a rare edition of Proust, which he had not yet read and, according to later statements, had never read. Later, Genet claimed that he stole solely out of love for art and thus managed to acquire autographs of Francis I and Charles IX. Whether it was passion or a desire to make money, but having already given Cocteau his debut novel, Zhenet again took up the old and tried to steal a rare edition of Paul Verlaine’s “Gallant Festivities”. He was caught on the spot, this was his tenth arrest – and now he was facing life in prison. Cocteau had to look for Zhenya not only for a publisher, but also for a lawyer.

Cocteau organized a large-scale campaign in support of Genet: the whole bloom of Paris wrote letters in his defense, and in addition to Cocteau himself, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre and Georges Bataille came to court. It was, however, worth it: the judge, who was besieged by assurances of the defendant’s genius, decided to talk to him about life. Bataille recalled such a dialogue between them: “What would you say if your books were stolen? “I would be very proud of that, Mr. Chairman.” Zhenya did not receive a life sentence – he was given several months. In the same 1943, his “Our Lady of Flowers” was published in a small edition – for connoisseurs of eroticism. Zhenet did not agree with this definition and edited the most explicit scenes of the novel – the next year the book was released as expected.

This was the last prison term for Zhenya, later he returned to jail only in literature. Part of his second novel, The Miracle of the Rose, was set in the Fontevraud prison, the once famous monastery where Henry II and Richard the Lionheart were buried. There is no exact information about whether Zhenya was in it, but he was very proud of all his terms, both real and fictional.

Who else has a love of art brought to problems with the law:

Ben Johnson:

Ben Johnson

The playwright, poet, famous boozer, contemporary and rival of Shakespeare in 1598 argued with the actor Gabriel Spencer about which theater company was the best in England. The dispute escalated into a duel, and Spencer was killed. Johnson was threatened with hanging, but he found a way out. There was a loophole in the law that allowed the upper classes to escape punishment. It was enough to prove his piety and education (to publicly repent and translate a piece of the Bible from Latin from the sheet), and the murder was recognized as an accident. In the same year, Johnson staged one of his most famous plays, “Each with his own temper,” and invited Shakespeare to play in it.

Edouard Manet:

Edouard Manet

In 1870, Edouard Manet read a review of his exhibition by his friend Edmond Duranty. He did not like the review: he burst into the Guerbois cafe, where they loved to dine together, gave a friend in the face and challenged him to a duel with swords. Emile Zola was his second. According to reports from the police who arrived at the scene of the duel, the swords were crossed only once, after which they bent. The duelists were detained, but immediately released, Manet announced that his honor was protected, and they, along with Duranty, continued to dine at Guerbois.

Valerie Solanas:

Valerie Solanas

For several years, Valerie Solanas dreamed of working with Andy Warhol. He was a star who had already opened her famous “Factory”, she is a writer and a radical feminist. First, she tried to get Warhol to stage her play “Shove Your Ass!”, Then – to support her “Manifesto of the Society for the Total Extermination of Men” and join the “Man’s Reserve”. In the end, Warhol simply stopped answering Solanas’s calls and her patience ran out. On June 3, 1968, she went to Warhol’s office and shot him three times with a Beretta. The wounds were not fatal, Warhol refused to press charges, and Valerie Solanas was sentenced to three years in prison and compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital for “premeditated assault with intent to harm”.

Georg Handel:

Georg Handel

In 1704, the conductor and singer of the Opera House in Hamburg, Johann Matteson, staged Cleopatra, in which he himself performed the part of Antony. His friends, Georg Handel, then the second violin in the theater orchestra, and the composer Reinhard Kaiser helped him in preparing the performance. The latter was supposed to conduct the orchestra until Matteson died in the third act and stood on the bridge himself. But on the eve of the premiere, the Kaiser drank too much and could not come to the performance. His place was taken by Handel, who was so carried away by the direction of the orchestra that at the right moment he simply refused to give his rightful place as conductor to Matteson. After the end of the performance, an angry Matteson dragged Handel out into the street, where they immediately staged a duel with swords. Matteson Handel almost stabbed him – a metal button saved him. Needless to say


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  1. Which language was the Caravaggio Original Article written in? The verb for “painted” translated to “wrote” in English.

  2. Delicious article. The heart of humanity is in the artist who are compelled to express themselves, and therefore are highly motivated to adhere to truth. It is the embracing of ones nature, and producing the raw product both visually and spiritually.
    Caravaggio, of course he would find himself at odds with the church and other liars, because he was an agent of correction. Bacchus is his most accurate portrait. In time and the flow of its affects on the human beings, the knife or dagger and the hand extended, or the taste of the wine, is quite specific. he empowered women, and that is the core of the reason I can actually argue his date of birth being after Oct 2 and before the 12th , just by observing his images.
    The talent still exists, and why aren’t we producing it, is the question. Art has been under assault. Thus, truth has been under assault.

    • The belt and the loop, is so specific, that it cannot be found repeatedly, unless a certain energy was absorbed at birth. That is the science of the ancients, and nobody can escape it. It boggles my mind to imagine how long it took and how dedicated so many must have been to leave us such things. Globally.

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