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Museo Regionale, Messina

Established in 1914 in a former silk weaving mill, along the seacoast road leading from Messina to the lighthouse, the museum hosts the collections of the Civico Museo Peloritano and a great number of works rescued from the ruins of palaces and churches destroyed in the 1908 earthquake and in the Second World War; among the most important works are paintings by Antonello da Messina and Caravaggio.

Caravaggio in Messina: the whole 10th room is devoted to Caravaggio (alias of Michelangelo Merisi), who worked in Messina in his last period, between 1608 and 1609, with two masterpieces, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Resurrection of Lazarus, as well as works of other painters showing the Caravaggio influence. The Adoration of the Shepherds was commissioned by the Senate of Messina in 1908 for the main altar of the Chiesa dei Cappuccini; the painter had been banished from Rome for killing a man during a brawl, and was wandering through southern Italy waiting for a pardon, and was well received in Messina. The painting well reflects with its dark colors his tragical experience, and the divine characters are interpreted as very human, humble creatures, with the poor agricultural tools in the foreground.

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Raising of Lazarus

Caravaggio, 1609

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