Long-lost Caravaggio ….

This is an unexpected blog concerning an article discovered as I have been checking over my essay in preparation for assessment!

caraaIn 1599 Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio painted Judith Beheading Holofernes which is based on the biblical story.  Now it appears the second long lost version of this work has possibly been discovered in the hands of private owners in France according to a French newspaper – it is certainly known that Caravaggio painted two versions with on on display at the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Italy.

However according to the article I have discovered online  the second version has been missing since the 17th century … until 2016 that is and until its authenticity can be estabilshed the Ministry of Culture in France has banned it from leaving the country.  It seems an American museum has expressed an interest in the piece already despite there being no direct evidence which confirms its provenance.

According to the article a specialist in Caravaggio, one Mina Gregori, has not found evidence of Caravaggio’s hand or workmanship in this recently discovered work.  However the French paper Le Figaro has pointed out that she has been misguided or incorrect in some of her recent attributions so her words cannot be taken as confirmation that it is not the lost work and clearly more investigations will have been ongoing since the article was written in March 2016 and these include Giuseppe Porzio and Maria Cristina Terzaghi who are Italian experts and Caravaggio experts.

If this is indeed the lost second version of Caravaggio’s masterpiece the painting could be valued at $113 million US dollars if it were to be sold but this could be a conservative estimate for an incredible art work.


Munso-Alonso, L. April 2016.  Long-Lost Caravaggio Painting Possibly Found in France [online].  [Date accessed:  January 2017].  Available from:  https://news.artnet.com/market/long-lost-caravaggio-found-france-466646


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