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Lost Michelangelo found at University of Oxford

12th July 2011

A painting at the University of Oxford which was long thought to be the work of Marcello Venusti is, in fact, a lost painting by Michelangelo, it has been discovered.

Crucifixion with The Madonna, St John and Two Mourning Angels has been hanging on a wall at Campion Hall since the 1930s after being bought in an auction at Sotheby's.

At the time, experts identified the piece as a Venusti as its imagery and brushstrokes were similar to that of the Italian, who was an exponent of the Mannerist style pioneered by Michelangelo.

However, Italian scholar Antonio Forcellino has used infra-red technology to disprove this assumption and claims in his book, The Lost Michelangelos, that 'no one but Michelangelo could have painted such a masterpiece'.

The master of Campion Hall, Father Brendan Callaghan, told the BBC the painting has now been removed from the wall and sent to the Ashmolean Museum for safekeeping.

'Simply having it hanging on our wall wasn't a good idea. Its value in the three years I've been master has gone up tenfold, even if it's not by Michelangelo,' he added.

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