Not having read Jonathan Harr's previous book, ("A Civil Action") I'm unable to comment on which is the better book; what I can say, though, was that I was totally captivated by "The Lost Painting."
Many scholars acknowledge that there probably are several missing Caravaggio masterpieces lying about forgotten and neglected. "The Lost Painting" is about the search for and discover of one such painting, "The Taking Of Christ." In 1989, while working on a project, graduate students, Francesca Cappelletti and Laura Testa, come across mention of the sale of "The Taking of Christ" in the early part of the nineteenth century by the then owner, Guisseppe Mattei to a Scotsman. The information fires up in Francesca a desire to discover what happened to the painting from this point on. She is only partially successful. In the meantime, art restorer, Sergio Benedetti, makes an astonishing discovery when a routine job nets an inexpected find...
I couldn't put this book down! As usual, the truth reads better than fiction.
Over the years, many people representing many different interests searched for the whereabouts of a missing masterpiece by the great Caravaggio. All met with dead ends. In this fast paced book, the author introduces us to those in the art world who were involved in the search, and he allows us to see how each contributes to the final outcome. We are there as each new clue is discovered.
Caravaggio was evidently a pretty wild character who was no stranger to the police. How such a man was able to create paintings of such light and beauty is incredible. Learning more about the artist is one of the highlights of the book.
I don't want to spoil the story by giving away any details. Reading first-hand how things slowly evolve is part of the fun. I do highly recommend it, though, to anyone interested in Italian art, in art history, or to anyone looking for a good, intelligent...
I really love history, and especially art history. A book about the finding of the long lost Caravaggio painting "The Taking of Christ" got me really excited. Then I started reading it. Evidently authors like Mr. Harr feel that most people won't pick up a book that is not fiction so he writes in a way that gives new meaning to the term "narrative history". At first he seems to want to write a novel. We go riding through the mountains seeing the scenery, experiencing the ocean breeze, pulling over to the side to let faster vehicles pass us by. Our brakes aren't too good, but now the road gets wider....etc. I am getting very impatient with this book about this time. This is novelistic fill that I am reading.
But then half way through the book a new day dawns. We no longer have to sit through a dinner where an art historian has ordered "an antipasto of mixed seafood marinated in olive oil and lemon juice followed by medallion of veal with lemon and capers and a plate of...
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