The Lost Painting

Jonathan Harr

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The Lost Painting

The Lost Painting By Jonathan Harr The Lost Painting 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

  • Title: The Lost Painting
  • Author: Jonathan Harr
  • ISBN: 9781415925027
  • Page: 326
  • Format: Audio CD
  • The Lost Painting By Jonathan Harr 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 centuriesAn 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 Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn t alter his violent temperament His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty 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 Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award winning A Civil Action, The Lost Painting is a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story 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 Jonathan Harr has gone to the trouble of writing what will probably be a bestseller rich and wonderful truth, the book reads better than a thriller because, unlike a lot of best selling nonfiction authors who write in a or less novelistic vein Harr s previous book, A Civil Action, was made into a John Travolta movie , Harr doesn t plump up hi tale He almost never foreshadows, doesn t implausibly reconstruct entire conversations and rarely throws in litanies of clearly conjectured or imagined details just for color s sake.if you re a sucker for Rome, and for dusk you ll enjoy Harr s clearly reported details about life in the city, as when one of my favorite moments in the whole book Francesca and another young colleague try to calm their nerves before a crucial meeting with a forbidding professor by eating gelato And who wouldn t in Italy The pleasures of travelogue here are incidental but not inconsiderable The New York Times Book Review Jonathan Harr has taken the story of the lost painting, and woven from it a deeply moving narrative about history, art and taste and about the greed, envy, covetousness and professional jealousy of people who fall prey to obsession It is as perfect a work of narrative nonfiction as you could ever hope to read The Economist From the Hardcover edition.
    The Lost Painting By Jonathan Harr

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    One thought on “The Lost Painting

    1. Julie on said:

      Absurdly readable, this book is candy for anyone who loves or appreciates the scavenger hunt of archival historical research If you are particularly into Italian history, this book is the equivalent of a snickers bar perfectly cooled in the refrigerator.If you feel meh about the tedious, meticulous process of historical research, despite its finally coming together in spectacularly satisfying ways, you will really really really not like this book I mean, seriously, don t bother Because that is n [...]

    2. Ron Palmer on said:

      It s like The DaVinci Code, only well written and true In other words, it s nothing like the DaVinci Code Harr personalizes the dry world of academic art historians as best he can, by following the principals in this story of a lost Carravaggio recently found in Ireland I cannot go so far as to say he spices it up, so the appeal of this book may be limited to art lovers only.

    3. Tom on said:

      Wow It s been so long since I have read a book that dominated my thoughts for a couple of days a book that I thought was amazing Luckily for me I just read The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr Jonathan Harr is mostly known for writing A Civil Action, which I enjoyed, but didn t find that it left me breathless the way that The Lost Painting did The painting referred to in the title is The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio Until the early 90s copies of the painting had been found, but the original pain [...]

    4. Chris on said:

      I haven t read A Civil Action, and quite frankly after reading this book I never want to read anything by Harr.1 I don t care that Francesca answered the phone wearing a towel and with wet hair I don t care about her thighs Why do you keep telling me these things 2 Why is so much space give to Francesca s love life but only 3 pages, less than half, given to what Laura did at the same time Isn t Laura important at this point since she is, you know, actually advancing the needed knowledge 3 BTW, [...]

    5. Elizabeth on said:

      As a trained art historian hardened and cynical because of books like the Da Vinci Code, I wasn t expecting too much from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised First of all, it is not a novel, although written to appeal to a reader s sense of story If you like Caravaggio, art restoration, seventeenth century art history, or want a taste of how petty the scholarly art world can be, do give this book a look If those kinds of intrigues are NOT up your alley, the style of this book may help you [...]

    6. Alger on said:

      Really a 1.51 A swing and a miss A book I liked far for the topic than the presentation.Let me explain This is a book about a topic I really care about, and Harr is an author whose style I would otherwise relish It is the combination of the two in this volume that I truly dislike The discovery of Caravaggio s The Taking of Christ is presented in two parallel narratives, each with its tensions when read separately Yet Harr is unable to make those stories meet on any level except that of an enorm [...]

    7. Nelson Zagalo on said:

      Una cosa tremenda assim que este livro come a por referir o entusiasmo dos historiadores de arte nas suas buscas arqueol gicas por quadros desaparecidos E assim que termino ao ler este livro, com uma sensa o de gratid o para com o autor, que colocou em poucas p ginas, de uma forma t o escorreita, em formato de romance, todo o trabalho levado a cabo na busca e descoberta de uma obra emblem tica de Caravaggio, A Captura de Cristo.No blog virtual illusion

    8. Janebbooks on said:

      Almost a mystery, certainly a drama THE HUNT FOR A LOST CARAVAGGIO Anyone who has seen a Caravaggio will never forget the experience So when a friend emailed me about a Caravaggio, a 1602 painting that hung in the dining room of a Jesuit residence in Dublin, Ireland for nearly 60 years before its authentification, I knew I needed to read Harr s book.Harr s dramatic work of narrative non fiction begins in an Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, [...]

    9. Ryan Louis on said:

      Have you ever read a popular book i.e a bestseller with an intended audience so niche it actually gets stuck in a demographic ditch This is the poster book for that effect A book so enthralled with minutiae it should contain a warning from the surgeon general, Note unless an art history major, do not listen to this book on cd while operating a motor vehicle I did enjoy parts of it especially the section about art preservation and repair FASCINATING stuff But then again, I m a huge nerd So, then, [...]

    10. Petra on said:

      I really enjoy a book set in the art world I like the mystery, the sleuthing, the restorations and the thrill of finding masterpieces that have lain hidden for hundreds of years This is an account based on the finding of a lost Caravaggio painting, The Taking Of Christ I looked the painting up and was amazed at the reality and detail of it It could be a photograph If I could live another life, I d love to be an art world sleuth, digging through the layers to find and restore the beauty of the or [...]

    11. arcobaleno on said:

      Non una sola storia, come fa sospettare il titolo non solo quella del ritrovamento a Dublino della Cattura di Cristo, un Caravaggio di cui si erano perse le tracce Tutta la prima met del libro infatti un altra storia a s , altrettanto curiosa e interessante il confronto tra due San Giovanni Battista romani, apparentemente identici, quello conservato alla Galleria Doria Pamphilj e quello rinvenuto in tempi molto recenti e oggi esposto ai Musei Capitolini Ho avuto come l impressione che le due sto [...]

    12. Stephen on said:

      Excellent Tells the true art history detective story behind the discovery of Caravaggio s masterpiece The Taking of Christ believed lost for 400 years Fast paced and suspenseful Mr Harr s writing is lean and descriptive with just the right balance of emotion Everything needed to tell this fascinating story, nothing Loved it.

    13. Tony on said:

      35 THE LOST PAINTING The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece 2005 Jonathan Harr 1 2.This was the second book by this author his first being the highly successful A Civil Action In this tale, he creates a true to life mystery story that revolves around a missing masterpiece from a master from the Italian Baroque, Caravaggio The painting in question was titled, The Taking of Christ, a depiction of Judas betrayal of Christ in a garden Actually, it was not believed to be missing There was a painting [...]

    14. Kathleen on said:

      For my trip to Italy, I picked up this book recommended by both the Boston Globe and NY Times The author of The Civil Action a great read The lost painting is The Taking of Christ an account of how, in 1990, the original was found One of the key people is Francesca Cappelletti, a 24 year old graduate student at the University of Rome She cites a church in Rome that owns Caravaggio paintings three paintings about St Matthew We visited this church to see the paintings tucked in a corner of the chu [...]

    15. S©aP on said:

      Se un testo inglese ha un unico autore e due traduttori se la sua prima parte risulta resa in un italiano sciatto e irritante, quasi illegibile, mentre la seconda fila via bene, il sospetto che uno dei due traduttori abbia sbagliato mestiere forte Anche la misura dei tempi e dei modi dell editoria, oggi, pi chiara e percepibile L argomento interessantissimo, e attuale, viste le recenti celebrazioni dei 400 anni dalla morte del sommo pittore milanese La storia dei retroscena che portano al ritrov [...]

    16. Tiffaney on said:

      This is, apparently, a real account of the discovery of one of the lost Caravaggio paintings I went into this thinking it was merely historical fiction, so that was a nice surprise The author does not change the names of the major players, and talks about his interviews with them He also gives a great bibliography, complete with books and articles written by those involved in the discovery It reads a lot like simple historical fiction, but was enjoyable.

    17. Matt on said:

      Harr s book is an account of the recovery of a Caravaggio painting, The Taking of Christ, that had been missing for several centuries Various copies of the painting existed throughout the world, but all Caravaggio scholars in the world agreed that none were done by Caravaggio s hands The Lost Painting traces the discovery of the original painting, following two Italian art history scholars and a painting conservator as they all but stumble upon it.It s a fascinating topic, but Harr does it a dis [...]

    18. Adrian Stumpp on said:

      This book gets 3 stars because Caravaggio went through all the trouble of living a fascinating life Harr wrote a 2 star book about him I chose to split the difference.For those not familiar with the life of Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Caravaggio, this is a passable lintroduction Harr has an ambitious narrative device but fails to pull it off The style blends the staid authority of non fiction writing with the immediacy of narrative, complete with characterization, scenery, and even plot a [...]

    19. Michael Gerald on said:

      A book that started as an article in the Reader s Digest in 1995, this is a fascinating true detective story of how a graduate student and a brilliant art restorer discovered a painting made by Caravaggio.

    20. Todd Wright on said:

      Part Da Vinci Code, part Caravaggio biography, part survey of Baroque art history Easy read very well worth the time spent.

    21. Katya Colvin on said:

      Read this book quite a few years ago while in a hospital with my daughter It saved my sanity and eased the stay Well written a true story about finding a masterpiece of Caravaggio The painting itself is exquisite, I enjoyed studying it at a historical exibition in Rome Harr s writing is captivating makes you want to find out what s next and the story he tells will stay with you for a long, long time.

    22. Penny on said:

      This story would have made a good long article in the New Yorker As a book, I feel there was a lot of padding and building to moments that proved anticlimactic The Lost Painting tells of the search for a lost Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, through the efforts of a pair of Italian graduate students and later an Italian restorer working in Dublin The two students, Francesca Cappelletti and Laura Testa, go through ancient records to find evidence of the painting s creation in the early years of [...]

    23. Jeff Jellets on said:

      Art history for the common reader.I know absolutely nothing about art Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael are familiar to me as ninja turtles than Italian artisans, but Johnathan Harr s The Lost Painting is a literary treat even for an absolute philistine like me Harr s hunt for a long lost masterpiece by Italian painter Caravaggio is as much detective story as it is art history, populated by a cast of students, scholars and art restorers who are every bit as zealous and secretive as [...]

    24. Kay on said:

      An interesting blend of art history and detective story, author Jonathan Harr focuses on the handful of scholars, including two students, who found evidence of the lost painting in question, Caravaggio s The Taking of Christ He concentrates most of all on Francesca Capelletti, who along with another art history, Laura Testa, was most responsible for doing the tedious legwork of tracking what had happened to the lost painting Another man, an art restorer working at the National Gallery in Dublin, [...]

    25. Raina on said:

      Wow It s been so long since I have read a book that dominated my thoughts for a couple of days a book that I thought was amazing Luckily for me I just read The Lost Painting The painting referred to in the title is The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio Until the early 90 s copies of the painting had been found, but the original painting had disappeared Had it been destroyed, or was it lying in an attic somewhere, forgotten The book follows several people, the octogenarian pre eminent Caravaggio sch [...]

    26. Slmcmahon on said:

      I suppose every art historian dreams of finding a lost masterpiece Stories abound of valuable, artistically and monetarily, at garage sales, in dusty attics and many other unlikely places.This story centers on a painting by Caravaggio of whose work only about 80 paintings are known and accepted as originals Caravaggio was very significant at the beginning of the Baroque period, roughly the early years of the 17th century His paintings were prized and notorious for the portrayal of his subjects r [...]

    27. Angie on said:

      It s a well written history of a searched for and found lost Caravaggio, but the construction is somewhat awkward By the end of the story, it s clear why Francesca Cappelletti is not the natural protagonist for this story She didn t find the painting Upon reflection, I realized that her contribution was somewhat ancillary, even The natural protagonist should have been Sergio Benedetti But clearly the author got along with Cappelletti better than Benedetti It s evident even from how he describes [...]

    28. JoLee on said:

      Jonathan Harr s The Lost Painting chronicles the events leading to the discovery, in 1993, of a lost painting by Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ Scholars had known of the painting and many copies existed, yet Caravaggio s original canvas was lost for hundreds of yearstionalgallery CollectI know I am an art history nerd, but I found this book incredible suspenseful even though almost all the big discoveries were unearthed in archives tedious work The book recounts the contributions of several pe [...]

    29. Jim Parker on said:

      I loved Jonathan Harr s The Lost Painting, and not just because it represented the first non political non fiction I ve read in months.Although a true story, the book has the dramatic intensity of thoughtful, well crafted fiction as it traces the complex and often serendipitous meshing of steps required to discover, recover, and authenticate a long lost 1602 Baroque masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ I d write praises but, since I m one finger typing on an iP [...]

    30. Don on said:

      A belligerent baroque artist, an old art history expert, an art restorer in Dublin, a missing painting for hundreds of years and 2 young art history students in Rome hot on the trail of some new information and you have a formula for what reads as CSI Art World.In actuality, this book reads much like a CSI episode following the path to find the missing painting of Caravaggio called The Taking of Christ Painted in 1602 the original went missing some years later but with the twist that many copies [...]

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