Theories on the painting's fate include destruction by fire, earthquake, and gnawing rats in an abandoned barn

New Clues Emerge in Search for Stolen Caravaggio

The nativity scene taken from Sicilian chapel in 1969 may have ended up in Switzerland

"The Night," Michele di Rodolfo del Ghirlandaio, oil on panel, Galleria Colonna, Rome, Italy

Earliest Images of Breast Cancer Found in Renaissance Paintings

The signs of illness in the paintings illustrate that breast cancer is not just a modern malady

A tessera or a Roman six-sided die from the Vidy Roman Museum

How Centuries-Old Dice Reveal Changing Attitudes About Fate

Dice made in Roman times were lopsided and irregular, but they became more consistent during the Renaissance

Frederick II was the first "modern" ornithologist, studying birds in detail in the 13th century to fuel his passion for falconry.

The Modern History of Ornithology Starts With This Inquisitive Medieval Emperor

Frederick II got up to a lot in his lifetime

Anna Morandi Manzolini (1714-1774), Italian anatomist and sculptor, from a drawing by Cesare Bettini.

The Lady Anatomist Who Brought Dead Bodies to Light

Anna Morandi was the brains and the skilled hand of an unusual husband-wife partnership

John Dee was an accomplished mathematician, but he also said he owned a stone (in his right hand) that was given to him by angels. In Elizabethan England, that wasn't all that odd.

John Dee’s Life Shows Science’s Magical Roots

His life shows a time when science and magic intersected–even for scientists

Experts say that Raphael painted an allegorical figure of Justice on the far right of this elaborate fresco, which depicts the battle between Constantine and his rival, Maxentius.

Unknown Raphael Paintings Discovered in the Vatican

Restoration work in the Hall of Constantine uncovered two allegorical figures that Raphael appears to have painted before his untimely death in 1520

The doge's barge, called the Bucentaur, returning to Venice after the "wedding" ceremony. This painting is by eighteenth-century Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto.

Venice Has Been Married to the Sea for Over a Thousand Years

Happy anniversary, you crazy kids

Five-Year Photo Project Captures the Sistine Chapel in High-Res Detail

Released in a new set of books, the 1:1 photos will be used by restorers to restore and assess damage to Michaelangelo's masterpieces

A Silk Road Wine Trail Karas Monument at the entrance of Rind Village in Vayots Dzor, Armenia.

Can Ancient Techniques Make Modern Wine Better?

A new generation of wineries are going to painstaking lengths to acquire hundreds of historic clay karases

Although it's possible that Sandro Botticelli threw other works of his on the bonfire, the Birth of Venus thankfully survived.

A Fanatical Monk Inspired 15th-Century Italians to Burn Their Clothes, Makeup and Art

He told Florentines the apocalypse was coming, and to save themselves through self-censorship

Tycho Brahe was extremely wealthy and lived an unusual life that included a pet moose.

Astronomer and Alchemist Tycho Brahe Died Full of Gold

The shiny element was important to Renaissance scientists. Very important

The newly restored "St. John the Baptist," by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Louvre Has Restored "St. John the Baptist"

To clean, or not to clean?

Major Renaissance Painting Restored 50 Years After It Was Covered in Flood Waters

Giorgio Vasari's "Last Supper" was heavily damaged during Florence's 1966 flood. Conservationists finally figured out how to save it

Chalk portrait of Caravaggio
Ottavio Leoni, circa 1621

Happy 445th Birthday, Caravaggio

The artist’s gory paintings have captivated art lovers for centuries

"Prudence" (before conservation)
Andrea della Robbia (Italian (Florentine), 1435–1525)
Ca. 1475
Glazed terracotta
Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1921

This Renaissance Sculptor Is Getting His First U.S. Show

Luca della Robbia is finally getting a showcase in the States

Historians Identify 35 Descendants of Leonardo da Vinci

Using historical documents and genealogical detective work, researchers have reconstructed 15 generations of Leonardo's family tree

Judith Beheading Holofernes (1598) by Caravaggio at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini, Rome. A recently discovered painting in France thought to be by Caravaggio depicts a similar scene

Multi-Million Dollar Painting Found in Leaky French Attic

Homeowners may have found a lost Caravaggio masterpiece behind a sealed attic door in their home near Toulouse

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Even 500 Years After His Death, Hieronymus Bosch Hasn’t Lost His Appeal

A trip to the painter’s hometown reminds us how his paintings remain frightfully timely

Happy 543rd Birthday, Nicolaus Copernicus

The Renaissance scientist set the stage for modern astronomy

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