The findings will be revealed on Friday with the worldwide release of a 600-page, two-part e-book published in four languages.
Researchers and historians who have searched for undiscovered traces of Caravaggio now have a dossier packed with early sketches and several paintings from the workshop of mannerist painter Simone Peterzano, Caravaggio's master from 1584 to 1588.
"We always felt it was impossible that Caravaggio left no record, no studies in the workshop of a painter as famous as his mentor," Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz Guerrieri, artistic director for the Brescia Museum Foundation, told ANSA in an exclusive interview.
Bernardelli along with co-researcher Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli were given access to over 1,000 pieces found in Peterzano's workshop collection in the Castello Sforzesco in the northern city of Milan.
For two years they examined Caravaggio's works in churches and museums to develop a rigorous survey methodology for identifying underlying geometric patterns from the artist's career, focusing especially on his early Roman period.
"Every artist has a matrix style, unique to them that is distinguishable through the postures and body types in their sketches. They memorize them as students, learning by force of repetition, and carry them into maturity for their later works," emphasized Bernardelli.
Boy Bitten by a Lizard, an important work in the artist's early oeuvre and Roman period, is one of the works in which scholars have found strikingly repetitive patterns.
"Caravaggio left the region of Lombardy with a rich collection of figures that he used throughout his career, but especially in his early years working in Rome. These works are proof," says Bernardelli.