A painting of the crucifixion, owned by a small Jesuit residence at Oxford, is alleged to be the work of the great Renaissance master, Michelangelo.
Bought by the Campion Hall Residence in the 1930s at a Sotheby’s auction, the painting was thought to be a work by Marcello Venusti, a contemporary of Michelangelo’s.
Historian and conservationist Antonio Forcellino, says infra-red technology has revealed the true creator of the masterpiece.
“You can immediately see the difference between this work and that of Venusti,” said Forcellino, who used infra-red techniques to study layers beneath the finished painting. He writes in his new book, The Lost Michelangelos, that “no one but Michelangelo could have painted such a masterpiece”.
According to BBC News, regarding the news, residents felt “a mixture of excitement and slight concern.”
“It’s a very beautiful piece, but far too valuable to have on our wall any more,” said Jesuit Father Brendan Callaghan, the community’s superior. “Simply having it hanging on our wall wasn’t a good idea.”
It has been removed from a wall of the Jesuit academic community and sent to the Ashmolean Museum for safekeeping.