Friday, November 16, 2007

A New Caravaggio

I bari
Oil on canvas; 94,15 x 131,25cm
Fort Worth (Texas), Kimbell Art Museum

I Bari or The Cardsharps is a well known painting of Caravaggio presently housed at The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

Recently Sir Denis Mahon discovered another version of the painting. At first it was thought that it was merely a copy of the work in Fort Worth. On further investigation it has turned out to be a version done by Caravaggio himself. The authentication has been carried out by Professor Mina Gregori. The new painting is probably an earlier version of the subject executed about 1594 or 1595.

The differences are visible: the standpoint of the artist or viewer of the scene; the eyes and gazes of the sharps.

Both versions at one time were probably in the ownership of Cardinal Del Monte, the patron of Caravaggio.

The "new" Caravaggio: I Bari
Presently on exhibition in The Italian Institute of Culture, London