6 May, 2024 @ 16:03
1 min read

‘Lost’ €50 million masterpiece Ecce Homo by Italian master Caravaggio to go on show at Madrid’s Prado museum after nearly being sold for €1,500

A LONG-LOST painting by Italian master Caravaggio that was on the verge of being sold for just €1,500 before an expert stepped in has gone on display at Madrid’s Prado museum.

The work’s owners had put it up for sale at a Madrid auction house at the in April 2021, but experts felt something did not quite ring true about the picture’s provenance.

The painting, now identified as Ecce Homo, had been attributed to an unnamed artist within the studio of 17th century Spanish painter Jose de Ribera with a guide price of €1,500.

The sale was put on hold while specialists from Spain and Italy examined it and the incredible truth came out – it was an original Caravaggio and therefore worth upwards of €50 million.

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The restored Ecce Homo by Caravaggio will be on display at the Prado

The Spanish government then gave the picture protected status, meaning it had to be kept in Spain. The painting was later sold to a British buyer who lives in Spaqin for a ‘knockdown’ €36 million, who worked with the Prado to have it restored.

Spain’s Culture Ministry described the painting as ‘an example of the excellence and pictorial mastery of Italian naturalism’ that had a great influence on the Madrid school of painting in the 17th century.

The artwork had reportedly been hanging on the wall of a Madrid collector, Antonio Perez de Castro, founder of Madrid’s IADE design school, who had acquired it in the 70s before being put up for sale by his heirs.

It will go on display in the Prado from May 28 until October.

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