January 2010 | Jonathan Shipley

Caravaggio, His Death, and a Slip of Paper


Who killed the famous painter Caravaggio? Or what killed him? These questions have plagued art scholars for decades. Scientists want to finally put the nail in the coffin about Caravaggio's demise. Big Think discusses the new project, spurred on by the discovery of a slip of paper left in a book four centuries ago.

From the piece...

Assuming that that paper is true, the experts expect that Caravaggio's body was laid to rest in a nearby cemetery. The thirty bodies in that cemetery were moved in 1956 to another cite. All the team of anthropologists need to do is examine those thirty skulls, create computer models for each one to determine what the original owner may have looked like, and then compare those models against the self-portraits that Caravaggio painted...

Read more about what seems to be CSI: Renaissance Italy, here.

Image above: Caravaggio, painted by Ottavio Leoni, 1621.

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