Picture Salome with the head of the Baptist by Caravaggio will be exhibited to the public in the Stucco Cabinet of the Royal Palace of Madrid from this Tuesday, February 15. It is one of only four works by Caravaggio in Spanish collections.
Before clean than Caravaggio
Picture it was restored for the second time in 2015—the first was in 1951— eliminating varnishes and repainting, so that the nuances of the original color appeared.
“Both the public and the specialists asked us to see a painting as important as this in a calm and continuous way,” said the director of the Royal Collections of National Heritage, Leticia Ruiz Gómez.
This painting, dated 1607, appeared in the inventory of the royal collections in 1666, decorating the Alcázar of Madrid. Thanks to its location, it was saved from the fire that devastated the palace on Christmas Eve 1734. It later passed through the Royal Palace and the Casita del Príncipe in El Escorial.
Two copies were made at the end of the 18th century, one is in the National Library and the other in the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
There is no doubt about the authorship of this Salome, as there is instead about the ecce homo attributed that the Community of Madrid has recently protected as an Asset of Cultural Interest.
The other three Caravaggios that Spain owns are located in the Prado Museum (David conquers Goliath), at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Saint Catherine of Alexandria) and in the Museum of Montserrat (Penitent Saint Jerome).