The Vatican newspaper L'osservatore romano gave the news on July 18th, 2010. Apparently, a new painting by the Milanese artist Michelangelo Merisi from Caravaggio (commonly known as Caravaggio) has been found. (Here is the pdf of the original article detailing the discovery, in Italian)
What is portrayed in the painting? The subject is the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, and the painting portrays a young man laying on a wooden board, in flames. The young man is screaming from physical torment and agony. His left arm is stretched forward in the direction of the spectator, as though he was in a desperate and vain attempt to escape torture.
The Vatican newspaper shows caution as to the attribution of the painting to Caravaggio. Art critics and historians are now trying to determine whether or not the painting is actually by Caravaggio. Some have already noted that the painting is too coarse, lacks expressivity and depth. But no final verdict has been pronounced yet. We shall just wait and see.
It is true, however, that the panting discovered -- at least from the pictures as they appeared on the Vatican newspaper L'osservatore romano and on the Internet -- pales in comparison with the sophistication of juvenile paintings, such as the Boy with a Basket of Fruit, or later paintings of similar religious subject, such as The Flagellation of Christ.
Awaiting the verdict as to the authenticity of the newly found painting, it is a good idea to rediscover the works of one of the greatest painter of the Italian Baroque. And there is another hub on the Baroque with a quite beautiful gallery of painting, which you should definitely check out.
Interestingly enough, the Vatican newspaper gave the news in concomitance with the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio's death. In celebration of the anniversary, the city of Rome opened up museums, such as Galleria Borghese, and allowed residents and tourists to admire the works of the painter. There were more than 20,000 visitors yesterday, July 18th.
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