Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Lost Story

I have just finished reading The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr, the true account of the search for Caravaggio's lost masterpiece, "The Taking of Christ".

While the subject matter is fascinating, I found the execution lacking (I state confidently, as though I know *anything*.) It was as though Harr wanted to infuse the story with the life and breath of the art historians who were searching for the painting but he didn't quite know how far to go with it. Thus the 'characters' (those who were fleshed out) were a bit shallow. And those who weren't fleshed out . . . well, it actually reminded me a little bit of a Scooby Doo cartoon.

I kept thinking to myself that if I had written this story (YUGE presumption!) I would have started with Caravaggio himself in his studio energetically transcribing the vision in his mind's eye onto the canvas, and then followed the painting accross the centuries to its present habitation. I think maybe I've watched "The Red Violin" one too many times.

Truth be told, If I were the one who had written this story, it never would have been written. It took so much research and so many interviews and background reading and fact checking . . . it took too much work. And I'm lazy. L.A.Z.Y. I'm *so* lazy that . . . meh, it would be too much work to type out an example of how lazy I am . . .

1 comment:

Mary said...

You know, Kristin, you've absolutely nailed what was wrong with this book. I enjoyed it, particularly the research part of it, but it felt shallow to me as well.