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See the newly verified Caravaggio painting going on display in Spain

A Caravaggio painting entitled <em>Ecce Homo</em>, which was recently verified as a work of the Italian master after being mistakenly attributed to another artist, is pictured on display at the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain, on May 27.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP via Getty Images
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AFP
A Caravaggio painting entitled Ecce Homo, which was recently verified as a work of the Italian master after being mistakenly attributed to another artist, is pictured on display at the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain, on May 27.

A painting made by the iconic Italian master Caravaggio that was mistakenly attributed to another artist is going on public display in Spain starting Tuesday.

Called Ecce Homo, the oil-on-canvas painting came up for auction in 2021, but the Spanish government halted the sale over concerns that it might have been a lost work of the artist.

Then, in early May, the Museo Nacional del Prado announced that a group of art historians and restorers had concluded that the painting was in fact Caravaggio’s creation.

“Since its reappearance at auction three years ago, Ecce Homo has represented one of the greatest discoveries in the history of art, inspiring an unprecedented speed of consensus around its authentication,” the museum said.

The Prado is showcasing the painting — which was loaned to the museum by its owner, whom the museum didn’t name — in a one-piece exhibit until October 13.

Art experts believe that Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio created the painting around the period of 1605-09, part of which the artist spent on the run after killing a man in Rome and fleeing the city.

Ecce Homo — Latin for “Behold the man!” — depicts the Roman governor Pontius Pilate presenting Jesus Christ to a crowd of onlookers in the final days before his crucifixion.

It is one of about 60 known works by Caravaggio still in existence, according to the Prado, and is believed to have been a part of the Spanish King Phillip IV’s private collection.

The painting was wrongly attributed to a pupil of the Spanish artist José de Ribera when it reemerged in 2021 and went up for sale at a Madrid auction house.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]

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