Art historians in Italy have claimed to find 100 previously unknown paintings and sketches by the late Renaissance master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

The works, which are estimated to have a combined value of some €700 million ($867 million) are believed to have been created during Caravaggio’s early years as an apprentice to the Mannerist painter Simone Peterzano, from 1584 to 1588 in Milan.

The treasures were found in Peterzano's workshop, which is in a castle in Milan, Castello Sforzesco.

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 the ANSA news agency.