The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons.
Caravaggio scholars estimate that between 60 and 80 of his works are in existence today. Many others, no one knows the precise number, have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.
Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ; its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.
The fascinating details of Caravaggio's strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr's account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.
©2005 Jonathan Harr; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.
"Harr's skillful and long-awaited follow-up to 1997's A Civil Action provides a finely detailed account." (Publishers Weekly)
The first time I listened to this book I thought it was fiction. It wasn't until the very end that I realized it was a true story. The details that are given about the artist sporadically through the book creates the feeling of watching a Shakespearian play. The narrator creates an atmosphere of both excitement and intrigue.
The Lost Painting is a very interesting read. While providing historical background on the life and art of Caravaggio 400 years ago, the story also shows how art historians research and investigate artwork today.
I have listened twice! (More than 3 words......)
The way it was told through the eyes of the young historians pouring through old materials in an elderly ladies villa to find their answers.
If you are interested in the plastic arts and/or art history, you will likely find this book interesting and maybe even exciting, as I did. For the latter, the book gets 4-stars. Otherwise, you will likely find it boring, not worth the read/listen and the book would get a 1-2 stars.
This book is not a cliff-hanger like Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code" or others of that ilk. Rather, it is a true story about the minutia of art and art history - teasing out the provenance of an art work from a myriad of subtle sources. I learned a lot from the book even if that was not its objective. The author does go overboard in trying to develop characters who are basically boring people in boring occupations. But, he tried.
Campbell Scott is a droning reader who adds little life to the reading.
Don't listen to this book as you drive because it will put you to sleep. This is the most droning audio I've ever heard, and I'm wondering where the plot is. Maybe this is a better book in print, but in audio, it's mind-numbing boring.
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