If you are an art lover who also loves Italian art, this book will entertain you. I qualify in both respects.
Harr put the reader in the role of a detective. We explored the documents along with his two young art historians, Francesca and Laura. I felt as if I was there beside them in the Mattei archive at Rencanati plowing through the old letters and ledgers. I sneezed from the dust and shivered from the cold. That’s how intimate the writing was.
We also learned how hard it is to restore a piece of work painted in the early 17th Century. Four hundred years of dirt, grime, and much more had to be carefully removed. The professional hands of Benedetti delicately guided us through this process. Even after he, a compulsively careful restorer, made a near-fatal error, the painting survived.
That’s the question that both the reader and those who discovered it pondered. Many of Caravaggio’s disciples copied his work. They did it on commission and their skill level was almost as good as the master’s. So, how to determine if this one was a genuine Caravaggio?
Read the book to find out.
Take a look at this book trailer for the e-MURDERER. Suspenseful?