The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 22, 2014


DNA Tests Could Solve Mystery of Baroque Master Caravaggio's Death
Visitors look at the ceremonial shield portraying Medusa, one of the three Gorgons in the Greek mythology, painted around 1600 by Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. AP Photo/Luca Bruno.
ROME (REUTERS).- The mystery surrounding the death of Baroque master Caravaggio may soon be resolved thanks to new DNA tests -- as long as the right body can be found.

What caused the death of the painter in 1610 and the whereabouts of his corpse have always been unclear.

But a team of Italian anthropologists believe that what is left of Caravaggio's body may be hidden among dozens of bodies buried in a crypt in Tuscany, thanks to recent historical clues.

The team -- armed with a CAT scan and kits for carbon dating -- plan to study the painter's exhumed remains to discover how he died.

"If we are lucky enough to find Caravaggio's skull, we will also be able to do a reconstruction of his face, just as we did in 2007 for Dante Alighieri," Silvano Vinceti, head of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage, told Reuters.

The only images of the artist available until now have been self-portraits.

Scholars have put forward many theories about Caravaggio's death. The most popular are that the painter was assassinated for religious reasons or collapsed with malaria on a deserted Tuscan beach.

However, in 2001 an Italian researcher claimed to have found the painter's death certificate, which allegedly proved that he died in hospital.

"This historical document shows Caravaggio did not die alone on the beach but after three days in hospital, which means the body must have been buried in the San Sebastiano cemetery," said Vinceti, referring to a Tuscan town near the city of Grosseto.

But in 1956, bodies buried at the tiny San Sebastiano graveyard were moved to a nearby town, Porto Ercole, and scholars hope that the remains of Caravaggio will be among them.

The team -- from the departments of Anthropology and Cultural Heritage Conservation at the universities of Ravenna and Bologna -- will have to examine the bones of between 30 and 40 people, selecting those that belong to young men who died at the beginning of the 17th century.

"We will check the DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of possible matches against that of the painter's male descendents," Professor Giorgio Gruppioni, who will head the team, told Reuters.

"Sadly Caravaggio died childless," said Gruppioni, "but his siblings had children whose relatives are still living in the northern Italian town that carries his name."

Caravaggio, who pioneered the Baroque painting technique of contrasting light and dark known as chiaroscuro, is famed for his wild life. Legend has it that he was on his way to Rome to seek pardon for killing a man in a brawl when he died.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)


Caravaggio | Silvano Vinceti | National Committee for Cultural Heritage | Giorgio Gruppioni |




Today's News

December 12, 2009

DNA Tests Could Solve Mystery of Baroque Master Caravaggio's Death

U.S. Art Critics Association Announces Winners of 26th Annual Awards

List of Artists Announced for 75th Whitney Biennial 2010

French Court Hears Tale of French Cosmetics Giant L'Oreal Heiress' Riches

Evocative Pieces of Paris to be Auctioned at French House Drouot

Elton John Comes Out of the Closet with Sale of Flamboyant Clothing Collection

View of Venice by Bonington Acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum

Old Master Paintings Sales Soar Despite Global Woes

The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today Exhibition Announced at Saatchi Gallery

Dallas Museum of Art Publishes its First Catalogue of African Art

Caravaggio Painting Sent to Tel Aviv in Advance of Berlusconi Visit

First Exhibition in Philadelphia for Cai Guo-Qiang Opens

Italian Police Recover Hoard of Looted Artifacts After Year of Investigation

The Field Museum Announces "Mammoths and Mastodonts: Titans of the Ice Age"

Bones of T. Rex to Make Museum Debut in Oregon

Barbican Art Gallery Announces Exhibition of Work by Ron Arad

The Art Fund Leads Official Campaign to Save Precious Hoard of Anglo-Saxon Gold for the West Midlands

Site-Specific Installation by Artist Kiki Smith at the Brooklyn Museum Announced

UGA's Georgia Museum of Art to Host Decorative Arts Symposium

James Logan Abell, FAIA, Honored with the 2010 AIA Edward C. Kemper Award

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site