First Michelangelo in US
The Kimbell Art Museum will soon be the only U.S. museum to display a Michelangelo painting after acquiring his earliest known work, a rare treasure that was tucked away and doubted as authentic for more than a century.
The museum declined to disclose how much it paid for "The Torment of Saint Anthony," a 15th-century oil and tempera painting on a wood panel that depicts scaly, horned, winged demons trying to pull the saint out of the sky. Experts believe he painted it when he was only 12 or 13 years old, informs Yahoo.com.
And only four such works — including this one — by the artist exist, and two of them are unfinished. Most of his paintings are frescos, the famous scenes on the ceiling and wall of Rome's Sistine Chapel.
"This is one of the greatest rediscoveries in the history of art," Eric M. Lee, the Fort Worth museum's director, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "The evidence could not be stronger. It's like a detective story, like a mystery, and it involves one of the greatest artists of all time."
The painting was exhibited as late as 1874 in Paris. But some questions about its authenticity had surfaced through the years, and after a London family acquired it in the 1900s, the painting was kept privately and largely forgotten in the art world, Lee said.
The painting’s attribution has been the subject of ferocious debate among scholars for four and a half centuries. While experts, citing historical records, agreed that Michelangelo had made a painting of the saint, the question was, Is it this work?
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