Museo Nacional del Prado presents the lost Caravaggio: Ecce Homo, a masterpiece by the Italian painter

MADRID, May 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Museo Nacional del Prado presents the lost Caravaggio: Ecce Homo, a masterpiece by the Italian painter. Thanks to the generosity of its new owner, Ecce Homo by Caravaggio will be on display at the Museo Nacional del Prado, in a special one-piece exhibition, in room 8 A from 28 May until 13 October 2024.

Ecce Homo by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi, 1571-1610). Oil on canvas, 1606-1609 Private collection, in room 8 A. Photo © Museo Nacional del Prado

Painted by the great Italian artist around 1605-09 and believed to have once been part of the private collection of Phillip IV of Spain, the painting is one of around only 60 known works by Caravaggio in existence, and thus one of the most valuable old master artworks in the world. This painting enriches the permanent collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado, which holds one of the few works by the master in a Spanish collection, David and Goliath, a painting that has recovered its colours and original contrasts after its restoration.

Since the Prado Museum alerted Spain’s Ministry of Culture of the relevance of the painting when it reemerged at Ansorena auction house in April 2021 attributed to a pupil of José de Ribera, the work has been under the custodianship of the art gallery Colnaghi, in collaboration with Filippo Benappi (Benappi Fine Art) and Andrea Lullo (Lullo Pampoulides). The painting was restored by specialist Andrea Cipriani and his team under the supervision of experts from the Comunidad de Madrid regional government.

Since its reappearance at auction three years ago, Ecce Homo has represented one of the greatest discoveries in the history of art, inspiring an unprecedented speed of consensus around its authentication. Following an in-depth diagnostic investigation by Claudio Falcucci – a nuclear engineer specialising in applying scientific techniques to the study and conservation of cultural heritage – restoration has been carried out in an informed and rigorous manner, allowing each decision to be based on an exhaustive assessment of the work’s constituent materials, their specific alteration processes, and the painting’s conservation history, reaffirming this initial attribution to the Italian master.

The unveiling of the Ecce Homo and the announcement of this loan is accompanied by a collaborative publication bringing together leading experts in the field with seminal essays by Keith Christiansen, Gianni Papi, Giuseppe Porzio and Maria Cristina Terzaghi, bearing testament to the work’s monumental importance. Titled Caravaggio: The Ecce Homo Unveiled, it offers an essential starting point for the understanding of this new addition to Caravaggio’s oeuvre.

PRESS CONTACT: Emma Gilhooly, +44 (0) 20 8969 3959

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