Art expert stakes recognition on ‘misplaced’ Caravaggio portray

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France’s leading authority on Old Masters artwork says Italian critics are incorrect to doubt the authenticity of the debatable ‘attic Caravaggio’.
Art professional Eric Turquin isn’t simplest convinced that a canvas observed in the attic of an antique residence in southwest France is a Caravaggio – he believes it is a modern masterpiece.

France’s leading authority on Old Masters artwork has staked his recognition at the announcement that the work is the fiery Italian artist’s misplaced “Judith and Holofernes”.

The painting depicting a grisly biblical scene of the stunning Jewish widow Judith beheading a drowsing Assyrian widespread will be displayed in Paris on Friday before it goes under the hammer on June 27 in Toulouse, the city where it turned into discovered five years ago.

Turquin stated it has to sell for between one hundred and 150 million euros.
“Not handiest is it a Caravaggio, however of all of the Caravaggios which are acknowledged these days, this is one of the terrific pix,” he insisted.
“The painting is in a fantastically properly nation, much higher than the Caravaggios I have visible in Naples,” he advised AFP.
But although everyone agrees at the first-class of the paintings, a minority of experts – especially in Italy – have their doubts.
They consider it is a duplicate made by means of the Flemish artist Louis Finson, who labored along Caravaggio as he painted.
But Turquin is adamant it’s far authentic from 1606 whose existence became first mentioned in letters between Italian dukes and artwork sellers four centuries in the past.
‘Turning factor’
He is extra satisfied than ever because the canvas became cleaned in January, a procedure that took three weeks. On pinnacle of X-rays, the cleansing “has shown that the painting changed into changed plenty as it became painted, with lots of retouching. That proves it’s far unique,” Turchin said.
“Copyists don’t make adjustments like that, they copy,” he introduced.
A much less virtuoso model of the scene by Finson hangs on the Palazzo Zevallos in Naples.
Standing in front of what has been known as the “Toulouse Caravaggio” in a strongroom above his Paris office, Turquin showed the telltale hint of the way the artist had modified his thoughts about which way Judith should be looking.

“After five years of mirrored image, no one has put up a counter-argument,” said the expert, accusing the Italian doubters of “saying against the painting without seeing it.
“They say it is not possible because Caravaggio painted (no greater than) sixty-five canvases… For them, the records of artwork are set.”
Turquin stated the painting marked a turning factor in Caravaggio’s development as an artist.
The fiercely unique painter had created his first canvas at the topic, the ways extra formal “Judith Beheading Holofernes” in 1598, which hangs at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. When it comes to picking paint, selection begins with choosing between oil-based and water-based paints. For hundreds of years, people have been using oil-based paints for their impermeability and toughness.
Unlike water, oil does not dry by evaporation. It dries through a process of oxidation that converts the oil into a polymer chain. This means that the layer formed will be resilient and long lasting, and will withstand the degenerative effects of water and air longer than water-based paints. There are, however, several disadvantages to oil-based paints. First of all, oil paints take longer to dry than water-based paints, have a strong odor that lingers long after the paint has been applied, and contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The paint pigment in oil paint is suspended in the solvent. VOCs are found in this solvent and are released as the paint is drying or being cured. VOCs are harmful to occupant health and the environment. Indoor air pollution has now been identified as being three times more harmful than pollution outdoors. This is mainly due to the release of VOCs by oil-based paints and other off-gassing interior VOC-containing finishes and furnishings. Government regulations regarding VOCs are becoming stricter; this may be one reason why oil-based paints are decreasing in popularity.

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