How would you react if someone told you there was a Michelangelo in your dormitory? For at least one clergyman at the University of Oxford, the answer is "humbly."
A painting of the crucifixion, which hung in a small Jesuit residence at Oxford, is alleged to be the work of the great Renaissance master. Regarding the news, residents felt "a mixture of excitement and slight concern," according to BBC News. The master of Campion Hall, Father Brendan Callaghan, stated, "It's a very beautiful piece, but far too valuable to have on our wall any more."
The piece, bought in an auction in the 1930s, was thought to be the work of Michelangelo's contemporary, Marcello Venusti. Historian and conservationist Antonio Forcellino, with the help of infrared cameras, claims to have identified the piece as Michelangelo's. According to The Independent, Forcellino said "You can immediately see the difference between this work and that of Venusti."
Researcher Lucinda Byatt reported that the painting initially came under scrutiny because of its connection to the Cavalieri family, an Italian noble family that produced Tommaso Cavalieri, who, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Art, was "a young nobleman of great physical beauty whom Michelangelo met in 1532 and to whom he had a passionate emotional attachment." Because of this association, the painting may prove important in the study of Michelangelo's personal life; as a gift to the painter's suspected love, the piece might have been very dear to Michelangelo indeed.
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