Lecce, The Enigma Of Caravaggio’S Two ‘San Francesco’ (from the Arcadia Magazine)

Four-hundred years after his death, Caravaggio is still at the centre of the debates of art critics and historians from all over the world. In the year dedicated to the master who was able to “give light to darkness”, an event is reinforcing the intellectual diatribe by presenting to the public one of his most important subjects. Indeed, the exhibition Caravaggio? The enigma of the two Saint Francis, on view until 5th September in the ancient church of San Francesco della Scarpa in Lecce, presents two identical paintings portraying the “poor saint from Assisi”, which differ only for some shades of colour.
Which of the two Saint Francis in Meditation is the authentic Caravaggio is still an enigma. The question which scholars have so far failed to answer is if both works were realised by the “damned” genius, who throughout his career did realise many “double works”, or if one of them was completed by one of Caravaggio’s followers. The dispute has been going on since 1968, when a second painting of Saint Francis – at first glance identical to the one kept in the church of the Capuchin Friars in Rome – was discovered in the church of San Pietro in Carpineto Romano. After forty years, the various studies dedicated to Caravaggio’s two works have not been enough to solve the intriguing mystery which is now being proposed to the curiosity and consideration of the visitors of the exhibition in Lecce.
Creator and curator of the project is Ruggero Dimiccoli, who came up with the idea of organising an exhibition dedicated to Caravaggio’s two works at the Government Palace in Bari, when in 2006 the two paintings, owned by the ….. READ MORE ON THE “ARCADIA MAGAZINE”

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