The New York Post tells today’s improbable art discovery story that tops the recent news of a new Rembrandt found mis-attributed in a museum. Here a painting owned by a Buffalo, NY family has at least one expert claiming it is an authentic Michelangelo:
When the kids knocked the painting off its perch with an errant tennis ball sometime in the mid-1970s, the Kober clan wrapped it up and tucked it away behind the sofa.
There it remained for 27 years, until Air Force Lt. Col. Martin Kober retired in 2003 and had some time on his hands. His father gave him a task — research the family lore that the painting was really a Michelangelo.
Kober found his way to Antonio Forcellino, an Italian art historian and restorer who assumed the work was a copy but nonetheless, he made the trip to Buffalo to see the work for himself:
“In reality, this painting was even more beautiful than the versions hanging in Rome and Florence. The truth was this painting was much better than the ones they had. I had visions of telling them that there was this crazy guy in America telling everyone he had a Michelangelo at home,” Forcellino said.
A scientific analysis of the painting proved that the Michelangelo claim was not so crazy.
Forcellino told The Post that infrared and X-ray examinations of the painting — on a 25-by- 19-inch wood panel — show many alterations made by the artist as he changed his mind, and an unfinished portion near the Madonna’s right knee.
“The evidence of unfinished portions demonstrate that this painting never, never, never could be a copy of another painting,” Forcellino said. “No patron pays in the Renaissance for an unfinished copy.”
Additionally, the provenance, or ownership history, points to the work being done by Michelangelo around 1545 for his friend Vittoria Colonna. That was about 45 years after Michelangelo did his famed “Pieta,” or pity, sculpture of Mary holding Jesus, housed in St. Peter’s Basilica.
A ‘Mike’ Found in Buffalo? (NYPost.com)