London art historian and dealer Clovis Whitfield claims to have identified a previously unrecognized painting by early 17th-century master Caravaggio.
The painting, which came from a private collection, will be reproduced for the first time in an upcoming book on Caravaggio and his followers from Yale University Press and the National Gallery of Canada. According to the Guardian, David Franklin, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art and co-author of the book, said the work "shows a side of Caravaggio perhaps that is not as drastic and antagonistic as usual," adding, "Maybe that's why it hadn't been known."
Caravaggio's paintings are known for their original use of dramatic lighting, live models and execution without the use of sketches. His work remains massively influential to this day; even a relatively understated work such as "Saint Augustine" has driven a great deal of interest. Sebastian Schütze, professor of art history at the University of Vienna and one of the book's co-authors, drew attention to the importance of the discovery, according to the Guardian, saying, "what looked like an anonymous 17th-century painting revealed its artistic qualities after restoration."
The painting will appear in "Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome," an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, through September 11.