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Italian art critic declares the discovery of the masterpiece Caravaggio, which was considered to be lost

“The picture caused me an instinctive reaction. The hosts put it on the floor, I knelt down and, seeing her hands, understood: yes, it was he, ”- Mina Gregory, a 90-year-old art historian from Italy, talks about how she found the previously lost Caravaggio picture“ Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene ” "In the" one private European collection. " No more details about the “old European family” - the owners want to ensure peace of mind and safety of their masterpiece, and therefore do not intend to make public even their country of residence.Mina Gregory is an honorary professor at the University of Florence, author and editor of numerous books on art, including the works of Caravaggio.
The Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene was written by Caravaggio in 1606, shortly after the artist accused of murder had to leave Rome. The picture was considered lost, and its existence was known from copies - so far eight repetitions of the canvas have been found, which in itself confirms the originality of the original.

One of the most famous copies is exhibited at the Marseille Museum of Fine Arts. Its author is the Dutch artist Louis Finson, one of the first followers of Caravaggio. It is believed that other copies were not made from the original Caravaggio, but from this painting by Finson, which he wrote during his stay in Naples:

Mina Gregory in favor of her version brings not only intuitive sensations. She also refers to the pronounced mimicry of the heroine, the variety of shades that the artist used to depict the face and a semi-nude body, and chiaroscuro characteristic of Caravaggio — which are only Maria’s fingers eaten by the shadow.
But Mina Gregory has a more substantial argument. On the reverse side of the canvas, she saw an inscription indicating that the picture belonged to Cardinal Shipione Borghese - and he is known as a great admirer of Caravaggio and a collector of his canvases. There is a version that it was Borghese who ordered the Caravaggio Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene.
Note that in the heritage of Caravaggio there are other paintings depicting Mary Magdalene. And their authorship has long been beyond doubt:Martha and Mary Magdalen Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio 1598, 97.8 × 132.7 cmPenitent Mary Magdalen Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio 1597, 122.5 × 98.5 cmRead also: Caravaggio: 10 famous paintings plus interesting facts about the artist