Caravaggio’s ‘Crucifixion of Saint Andrew’ is a masterpiece of baroque painting and the only altarpiece by the artist in America. Painted in Naples in 1606–7, the work was taken to Spain in 1610, where it likely remained for hundreds of years. The painting was acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art soon after its rediscovery in the 1970s.
One of only eight works by Caravaggio in the United States, ‘The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew’ had not been cleaned since 1974 and was ripe for examination. Beginning in 2014, the CMA conservator of paintings Dean Yoder spent nearly three years studying Caravaggio’s working technique, cleaning and conserving the CMA painting, and analyzing technical images. The discoveries made during this process are now shared in ‘Conserving Caravaggio’s “Crucifixion of Saint Andrew”: A Technical Study,’ an interactive app detailing the methods of analysis that Yoder used—including X-rays, pigment analysis, infrared reflectography, UV irradiation, Raman spectroscopy, and more—to illuminate aspects of Caravaggio’s working process and uncover details of the painting’s genesis and execution.