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The Caravaggio Syndrome // Italian Literature, Art and History Converge

October 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


In partnership with the Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, and in anticipation of its return to Charleston this November, we are pleased to host St. Lawrence University Professor Alessandro Giardino for a creatively-charged discussion on his debut novel The Caravaggio Syndrome moderated by College of Charleston Professor Rebekah T. Compton. Staying true to his Italian heritage and academic background, Giardino’s multi-dimensional narrative follows a student-teacher pair on their journey to research the Italian masterpiece The Seven Works of Mercy by painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Using elements from a number of cultures, he pushes the mold of contemporary literature while also incorporating the academic teachings of Caravaggio’s style and the signature impact of his work in the history of Baroque art.

If you are unable to attend the event, but would like to purchase one or more signed copies, please visit Buxton Books here.

About the Book

Leyla is a headstrong Brooklyn-born art historian at a prestigious upstate New York college. When she meets feckless young computer technician Pablo at a party, she quickly becomes pregnant with his child. There’s only one problem: she can’t stand him. And one more problem: her student Michael wants Pablo for himself. Amid this love triangle, the objects of Leyla and Michael’s study take on a life of their own. Trying to learn more about Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Seven Works of Mercy, they pore over the journal and prison writings of maverick 17th-century utopian philosopher Tommaso Campanella, which, as if by enchantment, transport them back four centuries to Naples. And while the past and present miraculously converge, Leyla, Michael, and Tommaso embark on a voyage of self-discovery in search of a new life.

About Alessandro Giardino

Alessandro Giardino is Co-Chair and Associate Professor of World Languages, Cultures & Media at Saint Lawrence University. Born in Naples, he studied at the University of Bologna, UC Berkeley, and McGill University. He has written extensively about Caravaggio’s cultural circles, as well as Italian and French literature. The Caravaggio Syndrome is his first novel. After several printings in Italy, the novel has been translated for English-speaking readers around the world.

About Rebekah Compton

Rebekah Compton is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She is a recipient of a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University and the Rush H. Kress Fellowship at the Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Her book Venus and the Arts of Love in Renaissance Florence was published with Cambridge University Press in 2021. She co-edited a volume on Magical Materials in Renaissance Philosophy, Literature, and Art and is now working on a new book titled, Sacred Design: Renaissance Art and Architecture for the Camaldolese Order.


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CLS Member
The Caravaggio Syndrome // Italian Literature, Art and History Converge
$ 10.00
124 available
General Admission
The Caravaggio Syndrome // Italian Literature, Art and History Converge
$ 10.00
125 available


October 15
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm