Please, Mind the Michelangelo

The artwork gracing the walls in Jesuit communities is often restricted to framed posters of famous paintings: Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus" presides over the dining room, perhaps a copy of Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Annunciation" in the chapel.

It seems that may not be the case at Campion Hall, the Jesuit community at the University of Oxford. Italian art conservator Antonio Forcellino claims to have discovered a "Lost Michelangelo" that hung anonymously in the Jesuit residence for decades.  Originally thought to be the work of Marcello Venusti, Forcellino claims that "No-one but Michelangelo could have painted such a masterpiece."

Advertisement

The superior of Campion Hall, Brendan Callaghan, SJ, remarked to the BBC that "simply having it hanging on our wall wasn't a good idea."  If Forcellino is correct about the painting's origins, that may prove to be quite an understatement!

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
William Logan
7 years 3 months ago
For an engaging account of a similar story, I recommend the book The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr (2005). It recounts the discovery of Caravaggio's ''The Taking of Christ'' in a Jesuit rectory in Dublin. Perhaps there are more hidden masterpieces in other Jesuit communities!

Advertisement

The latest from america

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether their religious freedom rights were violated by the construction and pending use of a natural gas pipeline through its land.
Throughout the discussions leading up to the synod's final week, small groups "have been very specific and intentional that we don't become too Western with our approach."
In a statement issued a few minutes after the broadcast of a story from Radio-Canada investigating sexual abuse allegedly committed by 10 Oblate missionaries in First Nation communities, the Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops told of their "indignation and shame" for the "terrible tragedy of
Central American migrants depart from Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, on Oct. 21. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
Many of the migrants in the caravan are fleeing Central America’s “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These countries are beset by “the world’s highest murder rates, deaths linked to drug trafficking and organized crime and endemic poverty.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 23, 2018