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Art experts celebrate Caravaggio find

ART experts in Rome are analysing what they believe is a previously unknown painting by Italian master Caravaggio.

As his homeland marked the 400th anniversary of his death, the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published the newly discovered work on its front page. Depicting the martyrdom of St Lawrence, it was found among the possessions of the Society of Jesuits in Rome. It shows a semi-naked young man, his mouth open in desperation with one arm stretched out as he leans over flames.

If the suspected link is confirmed, it would be the first painting by the Baroque genius to emerge since The Calling of Saints Peter And Andrew, which went on display two years ago.

"What is certain is that we're dealing with a stylistically impeccable, beautiful painting," said art expert Lydia Salviucci Insolera.

Caravaggio was active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily. But he often had to flee cities and leave works because of his fiery nature, which led him to kill at least one man.