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Caravaggio painting of man being barbecued possibly found in Rome

Caravaggio scholars are working to authenticate a painting of St. Lawrence's martyrdom, which has features typical of Caravaggio's style, the Vatican newspaper has reported. Caravaggio or not, the painting is quite good, say art historians.

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The 'Martydrom of St. Lawrence,' thought to be the work of Baroque master Caravaggio, belongs to the Jesuit order and has not yet been authenticated. But it appears to have all the hallmarks of Caravaggio' style, including the dramatic lighting effect.

Zeno Colantoni/Osservatore Romano/REUTERS

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The Vatican newspaper reported Saturday that a new Caravaggio painting may have been found in Rome, but cautioned that further analyses are required before it can be attributed for certain to the Italian master.

The front-page story in L'Osservatore Romano came out as Italy celebrates the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio's death. This weekend, churches and a gallery in Rome housing works by the painter will stay open overnight to mark the anniversary.

The painting in question depicts "The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence" and belongs to the Jesuits in Rome, the paper said. It did not say where the painting was being studied or who was examining it.

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An image of the work published above the headline "A New Caravaggio" shows a semi-naked young man, his mouth open in desperation, one arm stretched out as he leans over amid flames.

"It is up to further analyses and an in-depth documentary, stylistic and critical examination to provide us with answers," L'Osservatore Romano said.

"What is certain is that the painting is stylistically impeccable," it said in the article, written by art historian Lydia Salviucci Insolera.

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