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Download The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece, by Jonathan Harr Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,363 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Harr Narrator: Campbell Scott Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries. 

The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.

Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.

Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.

Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil ActionThe Lost Paintingis a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. The fascinating details of Caravaggio’s strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr’s account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Harr infuses this information with life and suspense, and his sure-to-be-popular account will lead general readers to a new appreciation of a long-lost masterpiece as well as of the potential excitement of art history scholarship and art restoration.”

    Library Journal

  • “A revealing portrait of a world seldom seen by ordinary folks, in which Mahon, Cappelletti, Benedetti, and their peers obsessively while away the hours, ‘always in the company of other scholars, always talking about art.’”

    Washington Post

  • “In truth, the book reads better than a thriller because, unlike a lot of bestselling non-fiction authors who write in a more or less novelistic vein…Harr doesn’t plump up his tale. He almost never foreshadows, doesn’t implausibly reconstruct entire conversations, and rarely throws in litanies of clearly conjectured or imagined details just for color’s sake.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2005
  • A 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/18/2014

    " this was quite interesting to learn how old paintings are restored. Even tho this was non-fiction, it read like a novel as he wrote it in narrative form. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Writerlibrarian | 2/13/2014

    " Harr tells the story of the search for a lost Italian masterpiece in a way that neophytes can enjoy the thrill of the chase and not be overwhelmed with all the intellectual jargon of the art history world. Caravaggio was one of the brightest stars of the Baroque period and very few of his paintings has survives. This is the account of finding one of his painting. I liked the no frill approach the author had. For art lovers and people that like a good treasure hunt done by academics. That means old archives in remote Italian villages, research through 1600's account books, 1900's sale receipts etc. A librarian's dream treasure hunt. : ) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Linda Hali | 2/10/2014

    " NF- loved Civil Action, and like fic and non-fic about art world. Harr is so readable and smart...easy to forget this isn't a suspense novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Anne Eiseman | 2/4/2014

    " Story is interesting as is the info about Caravaggio's life. I don't like the style of the author-switching back and forth so quickly between events past and present in characters lives. Do you call the people in a nonfiction book characters? "

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