Monday, July 19, 2010

A New Caravaggio Painting Found?


On the coincidental 400th anniversary of artist Caravaggio’s death, the Vatican’s newspaper published a story that a previously unknown painting by Caravaggio had been discovered. It had been in the possession of the Society of Jesuits in Rome.

The subject of the painting is a semi-naked St. Lawrence. The saint was grilled to death in 258 AD, and accordingly the painting shows Lawrence over the flames. According to legend, during his torture Lawrence cried out “This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite.” (Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca.”) This is why Lawrence is the patron saint of comedians, butchers and roasters.

Stylistically, the painting is similar to the works of Caravaggio (real name Michelangelo Merisi), but that’s not conclusive. A lot of art students created works in the style of whomever they admired.

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