by Jonathan Harr
The Lost Painting is a detective/thriller which kept my interest all the way to the end because it's about art! It's about the search for a lost Caravaggio painting. While looking for information about which of two copies of Caravaggio's "St John the Baptist" is the original, an American art history student discovers clues to the location of "The Taking of Christ" which has been missing for centuries. With the help of an English gentleman who is a Caravaggio expert and art historian, she starts meticulously following an ancient paper trail in hopes of finding the painting, digging through dusty papers in archives and family vaults in Rome. Another main figure in the story is an Italian art restorer who works in a National Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. While cleaning a painting for a monastery, he realizes it may be an unknown Caravaggio original... This is a fascinating story about art history, restoration and the importance of proving authenticity. There is a wealth of information about Caravaggio's life and ins and outs of the art world, past and present. I only wish pictures of Caravaggio's paintings had been included in the book. That would have been nice.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 288 pages, 2005