Caravaggio’s Kiss of Judas Stolen

A Carravagio masterpiece has been stolen from the Museum of Western and Eastern Art in the Ukraine. The painting has been called both “The Taking of Christ” and “The Kiss of Judas”

From a Reuters report “Police said they entered through a window, bypassing an outdated alarm system by removing a pane of glass rather than breaking it. They then escaped across the museum’s roof.”

and..

Caravaggio MAsterpiece Stolen

“News reports said city police had been urging the museum to update its alarm system, dating from the mid-1990s, but the suggestion was turned down on financial grounds.”

The National Gallery of Ireland also owns a version of the Caravaggio painting, so all is not lost.

Update: I seem to have posted the Caravaggio hanging in the National Gallery of Ireland above. Coxsoft Art thinks this version of “The Taking of Christ” below is the Odessa version that was stolen. Seeing both versions of the painting together make the stolen painting look like an average copy of the Irish version, but two small low resolution jpg images on the internet isn’t really enough to make such a judgment.
Caravaggio's Kiss of Judas

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.

Comments

  1. Hi, Dion

    I think your graphic shows the Irish version. I found the Odessa version on the Web Gallery of Art. The main difference is that the green garment on the left has been completely blacked out on the stolen version. (I tried adjusting its gamma setting etc to no avail.) The cropping is also more generous on the stolen version (at least it was until the thieves cut it from its frame).

    The BBC News website hasn’t found this story yet. It’s on its weekend break already! I guess the office boy who gets the short straw posts the football results. Caravaggio? Who’s he? Maybe it’ll report the story on Monday.

  2. This certainly is the wrong painting you’re showing; and it was unsettling to think that the NGI version had been stolen. Plus, if memory serves, I’m not even sure if the version in Odessa has ever been confirmed as a Caravaggio.

    It might be prudent to at least replace the NGI image with the correct painting coxsoft found. This seems like and inadvertent bait and switch.

  3. Hi Ian.. I posted your version too, thanks ;-)

    Posting the story before the BBC is an achievement for me.. lol.. I’m not known for my speed. I’m usually a week late, so I’ll pat myself on the back for this one.

    Gregory, I hope I didn’t cause you too much alarm. Also, I read somewhere that someone confirmed it was a Caravaggio, so who am I to claim it isn’t? Seeing both versions together does make the Irish Caravaggio look much more impressive than the Odessa Caravaggio, but I have seen neither version in the flesh.

  4. Hi, Dion

    ArtDaily posted the Irish version too. It’s the one most easily found on the Internet. The green garment is the giveaway. The first page of results in Google was all green garment.

    BBC News still hasn’t found this story, so your scoop is safe! (The BBC claims to be a patron of the arts, but it is clueless about art!)

    Gregory, there were doubts about the authenticity of the Odessa version, but it has been confirmed as the genuine article. By whom? Dunno. A Spanish museum recently claimed to have authenticated an unknown Sorolla which looks very iffy to me and to an artist who left a comment on my post. How much authentification is wishful thinking?

    In science, the practice of a professor adding his name to the work of a talented student he supervises is well known. The professor’s name guarantees the finding is taken seriously and published by a reputable journal. Imagine if this practice were followed in the Renaissance! All Caravaggios were painted by an unknown apprentice!

  5. Dion. It did kind of depress me for a second, just because of the great story behind how the Dublin version was found. It’s detailed in a great book called, “The Lost Painging.”

    Plus I’m a huge fan of his. He’s my favorite artist. My car plates say, “Merisi”… I’m a geek. :-)

    It’s interesting because Caravaggio never had any students. He was too angry about having his style ripped off. In fact, there’s a story about him beating the hell out of somebody who bit his style a bit too closely for comfort. That’s why you’ll find galleries in museums that have rooms called “followers” of Caravaggio and not something that implies he taught them.

    Caravaggio would’ve probably took a match to the Odessa version, if it’s not his, that is. So I’m not all that bummed about it going away.

  6. Hey Coxsoft,

    Forgot to mention… Thanks for the heads up on that confirmation. I did not know that! Interesting. :-)

  7. Gregory, you do sound like a fan. I’m guessing that very few (if any) people ever understand what the Merisi plates mean. I wouldnt have realised what it meant if I hadn’t seen it mentioned on this post (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio).

    I’m assuming the plates are on a black ferrari as that is probably what Caravaggio would want :-P

  8. A ferrari?! Hahahaha! Try a silver Prius! Caravaggio is just going to have get over it. :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    My article, “Beyond the Lost Caravaggio,” contains information about the National Gallery of Ireland’s version of the painting that is not available anywhere else.

    It is readable on my website at the following address:

    http://www.mythomorph.com/mm/content/2006/0702beyond_the_lost_caravaggio.php

    Best,

    Jeff

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