A rediscovered Caravaggio will be exhibited at the Prado in Madrid

The Prado Museum has confirmed that the painting Ecce Homo, discovered during an auction in 2021, was indeed in the hand of Caravaggio. After a two-year restoration, the masterpiece was loaned to the museum by its new owner for a period of nine months. It will be unveiled to the public for the first time during an individual exhibition, which will be held from May 28 until October.

“A detailed authentication process carried out by leading specialists in Caravaggio and Baroque painting has shown that the work is undoubtedly a Caravaggio masterpiece” said the museum in a press release on Monday, May 6. Its restoration, carried out under the supervision of experts from the Government of the Community of Madrid, confirmed that it was indeed theEcce Homo lost by Caravaggio, painting painted between 1605 and 1609 and which then entered the private collection of Philip IV of Spain in 1664. The work is among the sixty known works by Caravaggio still in existence, which makes it “one of the most valuable ancient works of art in the world”.

Initially attributed to a disciple of the Spanish artist José de Ribera (1591-1652), the painting was auctioned by the Ansorena auction house for only €1,500 in 2021. The numerous suspicions regarding its attribution had led the Spanish government to have it withdrawn from sale and declare it an “asset of cultural interest” to keep it in the country. In 2024, the work was purchased from the family who had owned it since the 19th century by an anonymous buyer, with government permission and for an undisclosed amount.

The oil on canvas represents the biblical text in which Christ, girded with his crown of thorns, is presented to the crowd by Pontius Pilate before being crucified (Ecce Homo). “Caravaggio had then reached a stylistic maturity thanks to his refined use of light and shadow which allowed him to capture reality up close” underlines David García Cueto, responsible for Italian and French paintings before 1800 at the Prado Museum. ” L'Ecce Homo offers a complementary vision of Caravaggio's late work and condenses the best of the master's style in his last years”.

Similar Posts