Lost masterpiece for Prado Museum

Extract from Caravaggio's lost masterpiece Ecce Homo Credit: Prado Museum on behalf of private owner

For those who watch TV shows which deal with antiques, it never ceases to amaze how many previously undiscovered and valuable items still appear.

Probably the most incredible find of all will be put on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid from May 28 until October 2024, thanks to the generosity on its new owner.

In April 2021, an auction catalogue issued by the Spanish auctioneers Ansorena depicted a painting said to be by a pupil of José de Ribera which had an estimate of €1,500.

Imagine the excitement of discovering a lost masterpiece

Various art historians began to wonder if  it was in fact a lost masterpiece by Italian artist Caravaggio who died at the age of 38  in 1610 and who left behind only 60 paintings which can be attributed to him.

The Spanish Ministry of Culture was alerted to this potential sale and with the Madrid City Council, made sure that the painting was accorded protected heritage status and was prohibited from leaving the country.

For generations this painting, now known as Ecce homo (Behold the man) which depicts Pontius Pilate and Christ wearing a Crown of Thorns, has belonged to a family who had no idea what they owned.

The entire oil painting
Credit: Prado Museum X

View the painting at the Prado Museum

After much investigation, the painting was attributed as a genuine Caravaggio which was once owned by the Spanish Royal Family, was sold to a private buyer for an unknown sum, was sympathetically restored and this is what can be viewed at the Prado which itself only owns two paintings by the artist.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews