Italian artist Caravaggio became famous among his contemporaries during the Baroque period for his striking oil paintings. Even though historians poured over the many canvases Caravaggio left behind, there are however another amazing artwork by the painter that is less known and less seen and hidden within the Villa Aurora in Rome.
In the last surviving remnant of the grander 16th-century Villa Ludovisi estate, lays a gorgeous ceiling mural ever made by Caravaggio. The ambitious painting is Titled Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, and features three Roman gods and their symbolic animals. An eagle for Jupiter, a hippocamp for Neptune, and Cerberus, the three-headed dog, for Pluto.
Caravaggio’s dramatic use of foreshortening made the painting look as though the two gods on the right, Neptune and Pluto, are looking down while standing directly above the viewer. This painting was made by applying oil on plaster.
Back in 1597, Caravaggio was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco del Monte to make the piece in a small room that measures about 2.75 square meters. This mural alone is worth at least $360 million according to the Sapienza University of Rome.
Not only does Caravaggio beautiful ceiling mural decorate the walls of Villa Aurora, but there are however, another valuable art piece an allegorical fresco of the dawn which was painted by the Baroque painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino.
After many years of belonging to the Ludovisi family, and being past on from generation to generation, they will finally be passed along to a new owner.
Tthe beautiful 32,000-square-foot home is going up for auction in January 2022, and will start at a whopping $547 million. However, since the building is protected by Italy's ministry of culture, the Italian government will have the opportunity to match the highest bid and purchase it on behalf of the country.