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A Rediscovered Caravaggesque Masterwork by Bartolomeo Manfredi

February 24, 2014
Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582-1622) The Crowning of Thorns, c. 1615 Oil on canvas - 157 x 233 cm Le Mans, Musée Tessé Photo : Musée Tessé click on image to enlarge

Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582-1622)
The Crowning of Thorns, c. 1615
Oil on canvas – 157 x 233 cm
Le Mans, Musée Tessé
Photo : Musée Tessé (click on image to enlarge)

After removing years of accumulated dirt, discolored varnish and a good deal of overpainting, officials at Musée Tessé in Le Mans, France, could finally settle the debate – was The Crowing of Thorns in their collection actually by the Caravaggesque painter Bartolomeo Manfredi?  After consulting “several specialists, including Jean-Pierre Cuzin and Gianni Papi” according to The Art Tribune, the work was determined to be authentic.

According to the article:

This rediscovery is important as Manfredi’s paintings are particularly rare in [France]. This is the third one residing in France along with Christ Chasing the Merchants from the Temple in Libourne (recently exhibited in Montpellier) and The Triumph of David over Goliath purchased over twenty years ago by the Louvre, and also a fourth one if we consider a Saint John the Baptist at the Louvre which is only attributed to Manfredi.

The restoration of this canvas now enables the Musée Tessé to display it alongside The Drinkers painted by a French disciple of the Manfrediana Methodus, Nicolas Tournier. The Crowning of Thorns will also be the subject of an exhibition from 24 March to 24 May 2014.

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