Art: St. Matthew by X Ray

In Milan last year, Art Critic Lionello Venturi paused before The Martyrdom of St. Matthew, famed masterpiece of 17th century Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Venturi had seen the painting often before in Rome's dimly lit church of San Luigi dei Francesi. But this time, aided by the strong artificial light of the Milan gallery, where it was on loan, he thought he saw a vague overlapping of paint surfaces around the fallen figure of St. Matthew. He persuaded government art authorities to X-ray the canvas.

Three months and 96 X-ray pictures later, the experts were able to assemble what looked at first...

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