17th-Century painting discovered in New Rochelle church

When Iona College professor Tom Ruggio went for some quiet prayer inside Holy Family Church in New Rochelle, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he looked up.

"I was able to see a painting towards the middle wall of the upper right-hand wall and I was pretty shocked," said Ruggio, who realized that he was seeing a masterpiece.

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Professor Ruggio teaches art history at Iona, so it's no surprise he has an eye for masterpieces, but the rarity of this painting was so impressive, he had to inquire.

After speaking with fellow colleagues in Italy and even the Museum Of Modern Aart, he discovered that this painting was in fact created by Cesare Dandini. Dandini is an Italian painter who creates this oil on canvas piece titled "Holy Family with the Infant St. John," a 17th-Century masterpiece that was never discovered until now.

Cesare Dandini’s Holy Family with the Infant St. John is on loan to Iona College’s Ryan Library for the next three months. Students, faculty, and anyone outside of the gates of Iona are welcome to come and see it before it returns back to the church where it was re-discovered.