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ARTS > Scholars doubt works belong to Caravaggio

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After discovery of Caravaggio works, experts have responded to their claim with skepticism, according to a report from ANSA, published in The Art Newspaper. AP photo

After discovery of Caravaggio works, experts have responded to their claim with skepticism, according to a report from ANSA, published in The Art Newspaper. AP photo

It was announced in early July that two Italian researchers had discovered around 90 drawings by Caravaggio in the archives of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, but Caravaggio experts have responded to their claim with skepticism, according to a report from ANSA news agency published in The Art Newspaper.

Caravaggio is widely believed to have painted directly onto his canvasses, and there are no known drawings attributed to him. Independent researchers Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz and Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli maintain that the recently discovered drawings were made by the artist when he was an apprentice to Simone Peterzano.

Francesca Rossi, who oversees the Castello Sforzesco’s archive and grants access to researchers, says she has no record that Curuz and Fedrigolli have examined the works in the archives. Rossi believes that they only studied electronic images of the works in question. Curuz and Fedrigolli responded by saying that they visited the archive after hours, but have not provided further details, according to the Art Newspaper.

“Maria Teresa Fiorio, the former director of the castle’s collection, told our sister paper Il Giornale dell’Arte: ‘How [could they] attribute [so many of] Peterzano’s drawings to his young apprentice, and how [could they] trash all of the previous research? That archive has been studied by many academics before me, and none of them ever detected Caravaggio’s hand,’” The Art Newspaper reported.

The researchers have self-published a catalogue of the works, which was temporarily available online from Amazon Italy.

A spokesman for Amazon Italy declined to comment on the reasons behind its decision to remove the book, when asked by The Daily Telegraph.

If authenticated, the drawings could be worth a reported 700 million euros.

July/21/2012

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