By Jonathan Harr
An Italian village on a hilltop close to the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo dealing with the ocean, and within the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit through a unmarried bulb, an archive unknown to students. the following, a tender graduate pupil from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that evokes a look for a piece of paintings of incalculable price, a portray misplaced for nearly centuries.
The artist used to be Caravaggio, a grasp of the Italian Baroque. He used to be a genius, a innovative painter, and a guy beset through own demons. 400 years in the past, he drank and brawled within the taverns and streets of Rome, relocating from one rooming apartment to a different, continually out and in of prison, the entire whereas portray works of transcendent emotional and visible energy. He rose from obscurity to repute and wealth, yet luck didn’t regulate his violent temperament. His rage ultimately led him to devote homicide, forcing him to escape Rome a hunted guy. He died younger, by myself, and less than unusual circumstances.
Caravaggio students estimate that among sixty and 80 of his works are in lifestyles this day. Many others–no one is familiar with the correct number–have been misplaced to time. someplace, definitely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or placing above a fire, flawed for a trifling copy.
Prizewinning writer Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding trip to find the long-lost portray referred to as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious destiny and the conditions of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles throughout a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the portray throughout a continent and hundreds of thousands of years of historical past. however it isn't until eventually she meets Sergio Benedetti, an artwork restorer operating in eire, that she eventually manages to collect everything of the puzzle.
Told with consummate ability through the author of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The misplaced Painting is a striking synthesis of historical past and detective tale. The attention-grabbing information of Caravaggio’s unusual, turbulent occupation and the fantastic fantastic thing about his paintings come to lifestyles in those pages. Harr’s account isn't really not like a Caravaggio portray: vibrant, deftly wrought, and enthralling.
". . . Jonathan Harr has long gone to the difficulty of writing what is going to most likely be a bestseller . . . wealthy and lovely. . .in fact, the publication reads larger than a mystery simply because, in contrast to loads of best-selling nonfiction authors who write in a roughly novelistic vein (Harr's prior ebook, A Civil Action, was once made right into a John Travolta movie), Harr does not plump up hello story. He nearly by no means foreshadows, does not implausibly reconstruct complete conversations and infrequently throws in litanies of basically conjectured or imagined information only for color's sake. . .if you are a sucker for Rome, and for nightfall. . .[you'll] get pleasure from Harr's extra truly pronounced information about existence within the urban, as when--one of my favourite moments within the entire book--Francesca and one other younger colleague attempt to calm their nerves sooner than a very important assembly with a forbidding professor through consuming gelato. And who would not in Italy? The pleasures of travelogue listed below are incidental yet now not inconsiderable." --The manhattan occasions publication Review
"Jonathan Harr has taken the tale of the misplaced portray, and woven from it a deeply relocating narrative approximately historical past, artwork and taste--and concerning the greed, envy, covetousness jealousy of people that fall prey to obsession. it's as excellent a piece of narrative nonfiction as you'll ever desire to read." --The Economist
From the Hardcover edition.