" Painting is the grandchild of nature" - Rembrandt van Rijn(1606 – 1669)

'Of course It was a genuine Rembrandt, didn't the Mafia take it.'

A guard explains to the young onlooker that the mafia steals only genuine Old Masters. 

The general composition, the light streaming in from the right and illuminating the subject, is inspired by Caravaggio’s, The Calling of Saint Matthew in the Rome church San Luigi dei Francesi. Numerous thefts, attributed to the Mafia, of Old Master painting took place in Italy in the latter part of the 20th century. One of the most clamorous was the theft, in 1969, apparently to use it as a form of barter between different Sicilian criminal clans, of another Caravaggio, The Nativity with Saints Laurence and Francis belonging to the church of San Lorenzo in Palermo and never recovered.

In 1999 the authorities were close on the trail of Caravaggio’s last Sicilian masterpiece. Negotiations took
place on the Italian/French border with representatives of the Sicilian underworld for the return of
Parmigianino’s* Adoration of the Magi with the infant Jesus. The painting on timber had been stolen ten
years previously from the Dominican monastery of Taggia in the Italian Riviera hinterland.
 
During the discussions, the Mafia representatives let it be known that they were authorized to consider also
an offer for the lost Caravaggio. This source of communications, however, closed immediately never
subsequently to reopen when, upon handing over the Parmigiano, the police, in their enthusiasm, arrested
the couriers, thus cutting off all sources of communication with the art underworld.
*Parmigianino Francesco Maria Mazzola o Mazzuoli, called Il Parmigianino (Mannerist) (Parma,
11 January 1503 - Casalmaggiore, 24 August 1540)

are available for book illustrations, annual reports, paper and packaging, giftware, related products. You can license them in the following format: Original transparencies in 6 x 6 cm. (2¼ in.) format, high-resolution RGB drum scans on DVD or efficient and quick E-Mail or FTP upload.