The murky mystery of Caravaggio's stolen Palermo Nativity

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


A comment piece on recent reports from Italy's anti-Mafia Commission that Caravaggio's "Nativity with Saints Francis and Lawrence", stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo in October 1969, may be intact in Switzerland, despite persistent earlier rumours of its destruction. I discuss the pros and cons of the debate. In addition, I address another recently raised dispute about the date of the painting: was it done in Palermo in 1609 as traditionally assumed, or was it an earlier, Roman-period commission of 1600 for Sienese merchant Fabio Nuti, who may have sent it to Palermo in 1601. I tend towards the traditional view,
Original languageEnglish
JournalApollo online
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2018


  • Caravaggio
  • Palermo
  • Nativity
  • Saint Jerome
  • Mafia


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