Masterpiece Previous Story
She hovers over the old painting, in her white lab coat, her hair a bit disheveled under the magnifying headgear.
In her right hand she holds a scalpel at a precise angle. In her left is a wood-stemmed cotton swab. Gently she scrapes the years of candle soot and dirt from a tiny portion of the painting. Through this small window the colors begin to brighten.
Beneath the crackled layers of paint
She sets aside the swab and takes up a soft brush, carefully sweeping the debris into a plastic container for later study.
She’s done this a thousand times, yet each time is thrilling. The paintings are brought back to life, released from years of neglect and abuse. This one is a commission she has taken on in her “spare” time.
She leans closer, then sits back, and leans in again. Could it be? Within the half-cleaned three-inch square she thinks she sees something unexpected. She pulls the magnifying lamp down and flips the switch. Cool light floods the surface. Alone in the lab, her heart leaps. The patron has asked her to clean a work attributed to the workshop of a master—probably a well-trained copyist. But this is no copy. The colors—the strokes! In that instant she is certain. It’s a 16th century Italian masterpiece—a Caravaggio!
By looking closely, we can find great works of art beneath the dusty layers of our daily lives. By looking deeper still, perhaps we can glimpse the work of the Master.
Inspired by the work of Roberta Lapucci
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