Lurking behind the sofa…

michelangelo Buonarotti

Have you had a look behind that sofa recently?   I must admit – I haven’t.  I’m much too busy than to bother with these mundane things…;)  It may be worth actually having a look though because I may be lucky and find a long-lost painting by Michelangelo!  Farfetched?  I don’t know so much – judging by this story.

The owners have had ‘Mike’ as they call him, behind their sofa for a several years.  he used to hang on the wall until a tennis ball knocked him off  and they wrapped him up, tucked him behind the sofa and forgot about him.  The painting owned by the Kober family in Buffalo was passed on to Italian art restorer and Historian Antonio Forcellino, who assumed it was going to be a copy – he was wrong!

The Pieta

“In reality, this painting was even more beautiful than the versions hanging in Rome and Florence. The truth was this painting was 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.

The lost Pieta which measures 29 x 19 inch and is on a wooden panel has been x rayed and shows some alterations.   Its journey from Michelangelo’s easel in 1545 to the back of the Kober family’s sofa and onwards to a vault somewhere is fascinating to read!  It awaits more experts to lend their weight in proving it really is the real thing!

Read more: HERE
Self portrait from here

I cannot argue with another Great Master –  Leonardo Da Vinci when he’s said  that painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt – and poetry is felt rather than seen.  See for yourself by pressing Mona Lisa, reading the poems dedicated to her – and maybe take part yourself:)

PS  More have  been added today!


16 thoughts on “Lurking behind the sofa…

  1. What curious things people keep behind their sofas!!
    Do you think it’s a real Michaelangelo? To me it doesn’t look quite his style. I associate more movement and less rigidity with his figures. Well, I guess we’ll fine out eventually. (Or not!)

    I’m afraid I’m not one for art or poetry challenges, so I’ll pass on the Mona Lisa… however I will say that when I was a teenager people often used to say that I looked like her!! Probably because I always felt uncomfortable smiling and so when I did, it looked strange!

    1. Not sure really Val, it does look like it but experts have been wrong before. It would be great if it was wouldn’ t it:) Who knows what treasures are still to be discovered, they’ve not even finished excavaing the tombs in Egypt, always new mummies turning up.
      I haven’t any art challenges on here Val – apart from the polls. But you don’t have to be a Wordsworth to join in the poetry challenge 😀
      I’d take looking like the most enigmatic woman in art as a compliment Val! You have her lovely bone structure:)

  2. It would be nice to think that something as special as an original Michelangelo were hiding behind a couch. I’m with Val on this one…it doesn’t seem right. When pictures first surfaced, I thought of other artists before Michelangelo. Perhaps the overpainting damaged it? To me, the Virgin seems overly large and the perspective of her face is odd. I’m sure the painting will receive the utmost scrutiny.

    1. Yes wouldn’t it be nice if it turned out to be by Michaelangelo:) No expert on his work at all, I grant you the style is different and the colours brighter, but the work was done in his last 10 years and it has been wrapped up and in storage behind the sofa lol
      If its a scam – Its still an interesting story…of course if it isn’t…. no doubt the ‘experts’ will let us know:)

  3. I’m not an expert . Heard about it on the news the other day, though. This particular piece doesn’t look like what I associate with Michaelangelo other than the religious theme. To me, his figures seem more elongated than these. The torsos look different, somehow. Just goes to show you that great art can be found in the most unexpected places! 🙂

  4. I wonder how long it will stay in that vault! The elongated figures – although not in El Greco proportions do seem a bit unMichaelangelo, but I found this:-

    Alexander Nagel, “Gifts for Michelangelo and Vittoria Colonna,” in The Art Bulletin (December 1997): 647 – 668. Nagel examines a drawing of the Pieta that Michelangelo made for Vittoria Colonna which was offered as a gift: “In this process the notion of the gift — inherent both in the drawing’s subject, the sacrifice of Christ, and in the circumstances of its making and presentation — played a key role. For Michelangelo and Vittoria Colonna, the drawing conceived as a gift was deliberately exempt from the normal economy of art production in the period.”

    Just look at this drawing

  5. Look at the torso of Christ and at the facial expression on the woman. They don’t look the same to me. Painting appears stiff. Drawing seems to have more life.I don’t know. I think it’s nice for the people if this is truly genuine.

  6. Its a puzzler isn’t it:) I like the drawing better than the painting. The more I compare them, the more puzzled I am:D We can only wait and see. like you said, if true – how wonderful for those people! I wonder why their ancestors hadn’t brought it out or sold it though? Surely if it was a fake it would have been in their interest to do so. Now we have so much technology available to ascertain its age and authenticity.
    Can’t wait to see how this story pans out:D

  7. I’m having the same image issues as Leslie. But who am I? Still why would anyone keep such a painting stored behind a sofa? People do all sorts of weird things–let’s just take gander at current events–but beautiful painting behind a sofa? W??????? LOL.

  8. I just checked out the drawing on the link you provided and it is lovely! I guess what also strikes me about the sofa painting is the cropped nature of it. Having all of the legs there (as the drawing shows) is a crucial part of the composition.

    1. I prefer the drawing to the painting. The cropping has a way of making the painting appear squat, thats true. It will probably take years to establish if the painting is authentic though:-(

  9. Curious to see how this story plays out, and will be checking behind all sofas in my place immediately. Not expecting to discover a masterpiece, but will settle for finding my lost iPod. lol Great post, Lynda.

    1. Hhehe I keep checking down mine for a Roman ring I bought on ebay ages ago – its still not turned up! Probably under a floorboard….wonder what ‘Time Team’ will think when they find it in the future?
      I bought an earcuff with a Celtic design on. It was ripped out of my ear by the wind at Stonehenge. I always pictured someone finding that and thinking they’d found ancient ‘treasure’ 😀

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