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A New Approach to Caravaggio, New Works 'Discovered'

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Published on Aug 3, 2012

Two Italian art historians are stirring up the art world. They are attributing 96 drawings and paintings to Caravaggio. If proven authentic the art historians say the pieces would be worth 850-million US dollars.

The art historians, published their findings as an e-book, titled 'Young Caravaggio -- One hundred rediscovered works' in July. But shortly after, Amazon withdrew the book from their website.

The art historians, Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz and Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli started their research two years ago with a new approach.

They investigated Caravaggio's childhood when he was a student of Simon Peterzano from 1584 to 1588 in the Lombardy region. They visited all the known places connected with the artist, believing the painter must have left traces of his work in his early years. The research is based on over 1000 drawings, preserved in the Peterzano Fund in Milan.

[Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli, Art Historian]:
"We discovered many details that had not been highlighted before. There is a study that was done at San Barnaba Church, in the Barnabites archive that has never been explored in relation to Caravaggio. We have been able to rebuild all parts of the life of this painter that had not been brought to light before."

[Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz, Artistic Director of Brescia Museum Foundation]:
"We followed new methods, using a computer, but always with the human eye to lead. We started to establish the model, observing the early Roman paintings. We noticed that those paintings had a proportional canon. We did some graphical models and then we started to observe the Maestro's production."

Publishing their research as an e-book led to much discussion.

[Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli, Art Historian]:
"The choice of e-book is because Caravaggio belongs to everyone and this publication has to be accessible to everyone. Our approach is scientific. We followed the captions, the notes. Everything is like a book of art history. We have written less because we wanted to give people more pictures. There's no need for so many words... because art is visual."

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio lived between 1571 and 1610. His works using a dramatic use of chiaroscuro, influenced the formation of the Baroque painting school.

NTD News, Milan, Italy

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