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Lost Caravaggio Worth $137M (or a Good Copy) Found in Attic

Image: Lost Caravaggio Worth $137M (or a Good Copy) Found in Attic

French art expert Stephane Pinta holds an x-ray image of painting. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 08:08 AM

A lost Caravaggio said to be worth $137 million was recently found in a French attic, an art expert told a news conference on Tuesday, but Agence France-Presse said some are questioning the painting's origins.

The owners of a home in Toulouse found the 400-year-old painting by the Italian Renaissance artist while fixing a leak in a ceiling, according to AFP, and art expert Eric Turquin told the news conference that the painting has "the light, the energy typical of Caravaggio, without mistakes, done with a sure hand and a pictorial style that makes it authentic."

Caravaggio, or Michelangelo Merisi, was considered one of the fathers of modern painting, becoming popular for the tenebrism technique that used shadow to emphasize lighter areas, according to Biography.com. He died in 1610.

AFP said the painting depicts the beheading of the general Holofernes by Judith from the apocryphal Book of Judith. It was created between 1600 and 1610, but was "in remarkably good condition."

According to The Guardian, Turquin said two Caravaggio experts he talked with believed the painting was actually by painter Louis Finson, who possessed a number of Caravaggio's paintings and made copies.

Nicola Spinoza, a former director of the Naples museum, told AFP he believed the painting was a Caravaggio.

"One has to recognize the canvass in question as a true original of the Lombard master, almost certainly identifiable, even if we do not have any tangible or irrefutable proof," Spinoza said.

The painting was found by the homeowner in April 2014, and Turquin said the artwork was cleaned and underwent "deep examination" over the past two years, including reflectography and x-rays, said The Guardian.

Jonathan Jones, an art writer for The Guardian, said he believed the Caravaggio finding was "too good to be true."

"It certainly has the shine and color of a Caravaggio, the cinematic light effects he is so famous for," Jones said. "But it has none of his psychological intensity. … The Toulouse painting is dramatically incompetent."

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A lost Caravaggio said to be worth $137 million was recently found in a French attic, an art expert told a news conference on Tuesday, but Agence France-Presse said some are questioning the painting's origins.
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2016-08-14
Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 08:08 AM
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