LES BATELIERES PRODUCTIONS, ARTE FRANCE
German, English, French
TV, DVD, NON-THEATRICAL, INTERNET, VOD
In April 2016, a shockwave went through the art world. A long-lost Caravaggio canvas had been found near Toulouse. But its attribution was disputed by specialists, so France’s Ministry of Culture decided to block its export.
As public curiosity grew, the market went into a frenzy. The work was valued at 120 million euros. But where did this painting come from? Is it really by Caravaggio? And what drives the price of work by a painter who died more than 400 years ago? This film offers an exceptional insight into the history of a masterpiece rediscovered after four centuries in the wilderness.
A key figure in the evolution of European painting, Caravaggio was the archetypal revolutionary. His raw realism upended the mannerist, erudite art of the age. His works were as scandalous as his private life. His violence led to trial, exile, and prison, an enfant terrible who made many enemies until he died sad and alone aged just 38. Reflecting this upheaval, the Toulouse canvas is brutal, terrifying in its violence. A woman cuts a man’s throat. She looks us right in the eye. Her servant stares at her in horror, holding out a bag for the head. Even today, the painting packs a powerful visual punch.