A lost masterpiece by Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio has been rediscovered and is now on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

Titled “Ecce Homo,” the painting depicts Jesus Christ presented to the crowd by Pontius Pilate, his hands bound and wearing a crown of thorns.

The painting, created between 1605 and 1609, was long believed to be the work of a student of Spanish artist José de Ribera. It resurfaced in 2021 at a Madrid auction with a starting bid of just $1,600. Experts intervened, suspecting it was a genuine Caravaggio, and the Spanish Ministry of Culture halted the sale to allow for further investigation.

After an in-depth diagnostic investigation and restoration, “four of the most authoritative experts on Caravaggio and Baroque painting” confirmed its authenticity, according to the musuem. The painting was believed to be part of the private collection of King Philip IV and is now valued at nearly $40 million.

“Ecce Homo” showcases Caravaggio’s dramatic use of light and shadow, with vivid details such as blood from Christ’s crown of thorns.

The museum calls the painting as “one of the most valuable old master artworks in the world.” It will be on display until October 13.

Photo credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
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