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The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece | [Jonathan Harr]

The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.
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Publisher's Summary

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.

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.

What the Critics Say

"Harr's skillful and long-awaited follow-up to 1997's A Civil Action provides a finely detailed account." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jeannette Hope Valley, RI, United States 01-23-12
    Jeannette Hope Valley, RI, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    7
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    "A very interesting life behind some exquisite art"
    If you could sum up The Lost Painting in three words, what would they be?

    I have listened twice! (More than 3 words......)


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Ocotillo, CA, USA 11-27-06
    Ron Ocotillo, CA, USA 11-27-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    35
    4
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    "Informative & enjoyable"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerri Bothell, WA, United States 07-10-06
    Kerri Bothell, WA, United States 07-10-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "boring"

    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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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