Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Caravaggio's remains are retrieved by scientists

Italian geologist Antonio Moretti
The bones have been taken from a cemetery in Porto Ercole

The remains of Renaissance artist Caravaggio have been retrieved by Italian scientists hoping to find out more about his death.

They had been housed in a special container called an ossuary in the town of Porto Ercole in Italy.

The bones have now been taken to the University of Bologna where they will compared with those of his descendents.

They will then go on show until January 24 in Rome's Borghese gallery before being placed in another burial site.

The new resting place for Caravaggio has yet to be announced.

Mystery death

The project is being led by anthropology professor Georgio Grupponi, who also worked on the reconstruction of the face of the Middle Ages poet Dante Alighieri that was unveiled in 2007.

The cause of Caravaggio's death has been something of a mystery - various theories have been advanced over the years.

Among the most common are that he was assassinated for religious reasons, and that he collapsed with malaria on a deserted beach.

One scholar believes he may have died from typhus in hospital in 1610.

Caravaggio pioneered the Baroque painting technique known as chiaroscuro, in which light and shadow are sharply contrasted.

But it was his wild lifestyle that has captured just as many imaginations as his art the years.

He was famed for starting brawls, often ended up in jail, and even killed a man.

He was allegedly on his way to Rome to seek a pardon when he died.

He was born in 1571 or 1573, depending on which history text one reads, and spent the last few years of his life fleeing justice in southern Italy.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Caravaggio was early 'photographer'
11 Mar 09 |  Arts & Culture
'Newly found' Caravaggios on show
12 Nov 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Rediscovered Caravaggios on show
26 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Delight at Caravaggio discovery
25 Jan 06 |  Europe
In pictures: Rembrandt-Caravaggio
24 Feb 06 |  In Pictures
Old Masters to unite in Amsterdam
25 Aug 05 |  Arts & Culture

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific