|"...the actual authorship of
many of the paintings attributed to Caravaggio is highly question-
Caravaggio Research Committee is sponsored by Veritus, but operates and publishes its
findings with autonomy. The committee is dedicated to the discovery of the true identity
of the artists who were the creators of the paintings now attributed to Michelangelo
Merisi da Caravaggio. To this end, the Caravaggio Research Committee uses the latest in
twenty-first century technology and forensic investigative methods. Through the use of
modern technology, the Committee is able solve mysteries and to discover centuries old misattributions. Complete Catalogue
Raisonnés in both traditional print media and DVD's will be made available in the future.
The fundamental problem addressed by this Committee is the authorship of
paintings attributed to the hand of Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Unfortunately, the actual
authorship of many of the paintings attributed to Caravaggio is highly questionable. In
all fairness, Caravaggio has not been alone in the field of misattribution. Rembrandt van
Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens and Sir Anthony Van Dyck share a fate far worse. The Rembrandt Research Committee has recently completed its
catalogue, and the shocking results may be viewed at the Rembrandt Committee site. There
were literally hundreds of misattributed paintings. It is anticipated that the Rubens
Committee will soon publish its work and the results are perhaps even more shocking.
It was apparent from the beginning of this study that a number of paintings
attributed to Caravaggio clearly not by his hand. Many paintings had been certified by
some "expert," and then sold to a wealthy collector as a Caravaggio.
Since the turn of the century, many noted art historians and experts have
conducted extensive research into the life and paintings of Michelangelo da Caravaggio.
Their opinions have aired in volumes of Catalogue Raisonnés and other scholarly
publications. With each new publication, the resulting number of paintings attributed to
Caravaggio has decreased. However, the problems of accurate and unbiased attribution
remained. Far too many paintings by the followers of Caravaggio continued to rest under incorrect attributions.
Sadly, these incorrect attributions are a great disservice to everyone. It
is not fair to Caravaggio to hold him responsible for the paintings of his followers,
whether the paintings be good, bad or indifferent. Such attributions take away from the
genius of Caravaggio. Concurrently, it is not fair to his followers to have their very
best works taken away and attributed to Caravaggio.
It was obvious to the Committee that a new method and philosophy for
examining authorship was necessary. The Committee was determined not to repeat the errors
of those that came before us. It was crucial to develop a new method
for attribution based on twenty-first century technology. It was imperative that
attribution should not be dependent upon subjective opinions or dubious circumstantial
Therefore, the Committee adopted a revolutionary new method of analysis and
attribution. Scholars familiar with the works of Michelangelo da Caravaggio will
immediately note the impact of this new method for attribution. Approximately fifty
percent of the paintings examined, most of which had been previously published as works of
Caravaggio, turned out to be by different artists. Thus, the total number of authentic
paintings attributed to the artist in this Catalogue Raisonné are considerably less than
the number included in any previous Catalogue Raisonné.
The Caravaggio Research Committee extends its gratitude to both Veritus and its sponsors for their kind assistance in this
project. The costs of research, computer time, technology applications and publishing of
this site have been made possible by a grant from Veritus.