Lost Caravaggio Finds Home at Prado Museum

Experts recently rediscovered a Caravaggio painting, “Ecce Homo,” which narrowly avoided being sold for just $1,600 at auction in 2021. Thankfully, they identified it as a true Caravaggio before the sale. A private collector later acquired the masterpiece. Now, the Prado Museum in Madrid is displaying it in a special exhibition called “The Lost Caravaggio.”

A painting by the famous Italian artist Caravaggio, almost sold for just $1,600 at an auction, is now on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. The artwork, titled “Ecce Homo,” was painted between 1606 and 1609. The painting shows Jesus with a crown of thorns, blood on his face, and Pontius Pilate beside him. Now a lost Caravaggio has found a new home.

Caravaggio is known for his dramatic and often violent paintings. He created this piece during a dark period in his life when he was living in Naples after fleeing Rome due to a murder accusation.

“Ecce Homo” was almost lost to history when it was mistakenly attributed to a student of the Spanish painter José de Ribera and put up for auction at a low price. Experts from the Prado Museum recognized the mistake and informed Spain’s Ministry of Culture. They instantly declared the painting a national treasure to prevent it from being sold and exported.

The painting was authenticated and restored, revealing its true value and historical importance. It is one of only around 60 known works by Caravaggio, making it incredibly rare and valuable.

Previously part of King Philip IV’s art collection, “Ecce Homo” had been with the same family for years until it resurfaced in 2021. After the painting’s significance was discovered, it was moved to the Prado Museum, where it will be displayed until October 13.

Jorge Coll, CEO of Colnaghi Gallery in Madrid, played a key role in the painting’s authentication and restoration. He emphasized the importance of the painting being available for public viewing. He said profoundly, “Everybody has to go and see it“. This is a rare opportunity to see a Caravaggio up close, so art enthusiasts won’t want to miss it!

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