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Culture

Painter Caravaggio's remains identified in Tuscany

Exactly 400 years after his death, the remains of Renaissance painter Caravaggio have at last been identified.

A team of anthropologists, biologists and art historians have spent months analyzing bones found in the cemetery of Porto Ercole on the Tuscan coast. The artist died there in 1610 at around the age of 40; the cause of his early death is unknown.

Thanks to a combination of DNA analysis and historical details about paint components like lead that leave traces in the body, the team said they are 85 percent certain the bones are those of Caravaggio.

For four centuries, the painter's final resting place had remained undiscovered. Born Michelangelo Merisi in Milan, Caravaggio was famed for revolutionizing painting by perfecting the chiaroscuro technique, which contrasts light and shadow.

Mystery has always surrounded the death of one of art history's greatest bad boys, who was as well known for getting into brawls as he was for his exceptional talent with a paint brush.

Author: Dany Mitzman

Editor: Kate Bowen