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By Gary Duff | May 13, 2019 | Culture
A Caravaggio painting—once thought lost to time—is now on view at Adam Williams Fine Art through May 17.
Before it reached the Upper East Side of New York, Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio's "Judith and Holofernes" had been sitting in an attic in Toulouse, France for nearly 200 years.
The remarkable find was made by auctioneer Marc Labarbe, who had been called in to examine the painting when it was discovered during a home renovation on April 23, 2014.
Not everyone welcomed the news though, retractors claim that the painting was created by Caravaggio admirer Franco-Flemish painter Louis Finson. Others claim it is worthy of being compared to some of Caravaggio's greatest works.
"The energy of the picture, the beauty of Judith's face—that cannot be by anybody else." said fine art expert Eric Turquin, who spent the past five years researching the painting.
“Judith and Holofernes” has traveled from France to England and now the United States awaiting its June 27 appearance at auction, where it is estimated to sell for upwards of $150 million dollars.
Unlike its predecessor—the old master painted an earlier “Judith and Holofernes” between 1598 and 1599 that depicts a more demure Judith—this painting depicts a Judith in command of her destiny, gazing at the viewer, aware of her actions and the repercussions of them.
Two archival letters, which date back to 1607, just months after the masterpiece is said to have been completed, place the painting's provenance between the years of 1606 and 1607.
Visitors to Adam Williams Fine Art can view the painting, the only American showcase of the work, through May 17.
Photography by Eva Sakellarides