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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Burial of St. Lucy  Oil on canvas, 1608  408 cm × 300 cm (161 in × 118 in)  Museo Bellamo, Syracuse, Italy
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Title: Burial of St. Lucy
Description:

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 1610)
Burial of St. Lucy
Oil on canvas, 1608
408 cm × 300 cm (161 in × 118 in)
Museo Bellamo, Syracuse, Italy

Saint Lucy was a local saint of Syracuse, who had been denounced as a Christian by her former suitor and had died in 304 from the tortures inflicted by local pagan authorities. Caravaggio may have worked in haste to produce a picture before the feast of Saint Lucy on 13 December. His Sicilian biographer states that he owed the commission to his friend Mario Minniti, who may also have helped him paint it.

Originally, Saint Lucy's head was severed from her body but later Caravaggio joined it and left just a slit in the front of her neck - perhaps recalling Saint Cecilia, whose still-intact body with a gash in the nape of the neck had been sculpted in 1600 by Maderno. A more local influence was the crypt of the Syracusan church Saint Lucy was buried, because cavernous spaces dwarf the human actors.

The heavily-muscled grave-diggers emerge from murky shadows, the mourners are so much smaller that they seem placed some distance away, the officer directing operations beside the bishop is obscured and only the young man above the saint stands out poignantly in his red cloak. Characteristically, light imitates the action of the sun by falling from the right. The scene takes the viewer back to the age of the Church of the catacombs.

The painting was recently restored at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro in Rome (all Caravaggio's Sicilian paintings have come down through history in a poor state of preservation) and transferred from the Basilica di Santa Lucia to the Bellomo Museum in Syracuse.
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Portrait of Fra Antonio Martelli  Oil on canvas, 1608  118,5 cm × 95,5 cm  Palazzo Pitti, Florence, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Burial of St. Lucy  Oil on canvas, 1608  408 cm × 300 cm (161 in × 118 in)  Museo Bellamo, Syracuse, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  The Lute Player  Oil on canvas, 	c.1596  96 cm × 121 cm (38 in × 48 in)  Ex-Badminton House, Gloucestershire, England
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