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The picture, made in 1602 for the Roman aristocrat Marchese Ciriaco Mattei, has been the subject of much discussion ever since its unveiling. Painted for private display, the provocative image of the saint as a boy, undressed and embracing a ram, caused contemporaries to speculate about its underlying message and the painter’s motivations. Besides these ambiguities, the painting shows all the artistic qualities that made Caravaggio’s works so powerful and visionary. His chiaroscuro, his radical naturalism, and the bold new narratives he told in his pictures became the ideal for other painters to follow. The exhibition illustrates Caravaggio’s influence on later artists by showing not merely how they adopted his themes and painterly practice, but also how, in a ripple effect, his paintings spurred further creative responses and renewed pictorial invention in others.