This book tells the remarkable story of a rare discovery: the uncovering of two lost paintings by the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
Like many stories of artistic loss, this one begins in a library in Italy, where Antonio Forcellino - a distinguished Michelangelo scholar and restorer - stumbled across some unpublished letters among the papers of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, son of Isabella d’Este and an extremely important figure in the Italian Renaissance. These letters comment on the paintings of Michelangelo in a way that is completely at odds with what was to become the dominant critical tradition of Michelangelo scholarship, an inconsistency that set Forcellino off on a journey that took him to Dubrovnik, Oxford, New York and Niagara Falls and culminated in the discovery of two magnificent paintings: Pieta with Mary and Two Angels, now in a private collection in America, and Cavalieri Crucifixion, now held by an educational institution in England. Through a combination of careful historical research, extensive restoration and meticulous radiographic analysis, Forcellino shows convincingly that these paintings can be traced back to the studio of Michelangelo.
This extraordinary story, brilliantly retold, calls into question the received view of Michelangelo’s work and fills in a missing piece in our understanding of one of the greatest artists of all time.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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"An art mystery for the ages."
New York Post
"An unlikely and rather miraculous piece of art history."
Bay Area Reporter
"In reconstructing the history of two lost paintings, Forcellino transforms the material into a cinematic plot worthy of a spy movie."
"This is an intriguing piece of artistic detective work...Reading Forcellino's investigations is like watching a jigsaw being painstakingly pieced together."
The Saturday Age
The story behind The Lost Michelangelos has garnered a lot of media attention including features in the following news outlets:Daily News & Analysis
"In compelling fashion, Antonio Forcellino traces the remarkable journey of a painting from Rome to Dubrovnik to Berlin, and finally to Buffalo, NY: could it be a masterpiece by the greatest genius of the Italian Rennaissance?
William Wallace, Washington University, St Louis
"Forcellino's new book reads like a detective story, draws on his expertise as a restorer and makes a good case for the rediscovery of two lost paintings by Michelangelo."
Peter Burke, University of Cambridge