Caravaggio The Lute Player
The Lute Player is a composition by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It exists in three versions, one in the Wildenstein Collection (once on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art), another in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and a third which recently came to light after leaving Badminton House, Gloucestershire for auction. The Wildenstein version has been traced to the collection of Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte - Caravaggio had been living in the Cardinal's Palazzo Madama as a member of his household since 1595 - while the Saint Petersberg version is from the collection of the artist's other important patron of the period, Del Monte's friend and neighbour, Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani. The Giustiniani version appears to be the earlier of these two, based on x-ray examination.
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