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  • The Musicians or Concert of Youths is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where it has been since 1952. It underwent extensive restoration in 1983. Caravaggio entered the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte sometime in 1595, and The Musicians is thought to have been his first painting done expressly for the cardinal. His biographer, the painter Baglione, says he "painted for the Cardinal youths playing music very well drawn from nature and also a youth playing a lute," the latter presumably being The Lute Player, which seems to form a companion-piece to The Musicians. The picture shows four boys in quasi-Classical costume, three playing various musical instruments or singing, the fourth dressed as Cupid and reaching towards a bunch of grapes. Caravaggio seems to have composed the painting from studies of two figures. The central figure with the lute has been identified with Caravaggio's companion Mario Minniti, and the individual next to him and facing the viewer is possibly a self-portrait of the artist. The cupid bears a strong resemblance to the boy in Boy Peeling Fruit, done a few years before, and also to the angel in Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy. Wikipedia

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