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The Lute Player, 1595-96

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610)

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Image © The State Hermitage Museum; used with permission

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610). The Lute Player, 1595-96. Oil on canvas. 94 cm x 119 cm (37 × 47 in.). State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. Photo by Natalia Antonova, Inessa Regentova.

Image © The State Hermitage Museum

In observance of the the 400th anniversary of the Italian Baroque master's death, the Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome has organized the major International exhibition Caravaggio. As is common knowledge, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) lived hard, died young, took long breaks from painting (due to the first attribute) and didn't have a tremendous output as a result. Over the centuries, however, many more works than he could have physically produced have been attributed to him.

Caravaggio aims--and succeeds--in displaying only paintings authenticated to be of Caravaggio's hand. The 24 select pieces illustrate the full scope of his short, brilliant career, and represent a phenomenal amount of goodwill amongst lending museums around the globe. You won't see the likes of this exhibition again, so please catch the show in Rome if possible.

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