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Caravaggio’s Ecce Homo is believed to have been part of Phillip IV of Spain’s collection (ABC News/Museo Del Prado)

Spain’s Prado Museum will unveil a work by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio that was considered lost for centuries. Source: ABC News.

The Prado said in a statement on Monday that the work, Ecce Homo (Latin for Behold The Man) will go on display from May 27 as a special one-piece exhibition following an agreement with its new owner, who has not been identified.

“Since its reappearance at an auction three years ago, Ecce Homo has represented one of the greatest discoveries in the history of art,” the museum said.

The artwork is believed to have been painted around 1605–09 and was part of the private collection of Phillip IV of Spain.

“The painting is one of about 60 known works by Caravaggio in existence, and thus one of the most valuable old master artworks in the world,” the Prado added.

In April 2022, Spanish authorities halted an auction of the work, which was then attributed to a disciple of a 17th-century Spanish painter, José de Ribera.

They also put an export ban on it after the museum alerted the government it could be a Caravaggio.

The painting was due to be auctioned with a starting price tag of 1500 euros ($2400).

The value of an authentic Caravaggio would stretch into tens of millions of euros, if not more.

Prado Museum Director Miguel Falomir said that since then the owners carried out studies and proceeded with the painting’s restoration, which led to the discovery “that it is, in fact, a work by Caravaggio and a work that arrived in Spain in the 17th century”.

Mr Falomir said it had been owned by a Madrid family since the 19th century, but was recently sold to an individual who wanted the Prado Museum to display the painting.  

The oil-on-canvas work depicts the Biblical passage of the Ecce Homo, in which Jesus Christ is presented to the crowds before being crucified. 


Lost Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio artwork to be unveiled in Spain’s Prado museum (ABC News)