Art News

DNA Tests Could Solve Mystery of Baroque Master Caravaggio’s Death

Visitors look at the ceremonial shield portraying Medusa, one of the three Gorgons in the Greek mythology, painted around 1600 by Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. - AP Photo/Luca Bruno.

The mystery surrounding the death of Baroque master
Caravaggio may soon be resolved thanks to new DNA tests — as long as the right
body can be found. What caused the death of the painter in 1610 and the
whereabouts of his corpse have always been unclear.
But a team of
Italian anthropologists believe that what is left of Caravaggio’s body may be
hidden among dozens of bodies buried in a crypt in Tuscany, thanks to recent
historical clues. The team — armed with a CAT scan and kits for carbon dating
— plan to study the painter’s exhumed remains to discover how he died.