For the first time since they were painted in the early years of the seventeenth century, the two versions of Caravaggios Conversion of St Paul, originally commissioned by Cardinal Tiberio Cerasi for his chapel in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, will be on display together in the chapel.
The first version, now belonging to Princess Nicoletta Odescalchi and recently restored, was rejected, probably because the image of Christ is included in the picture, whereas the description of the event in the Acts of Apostles only describes a blinding light with no mention of the Christ appearing. It was substituted by the second version, in which there is a blinding light but no image of Christ. This has hung in the church since 1601.
This artistic occasion has been organized by Rossella Vodret, superintendent for the historical, artistic and ethnoanthropological patrimony of Lazio. The two paintings will be on display in the Cappella Cerasi, S. Maria del Popolo, from 1025 November 2006.