Content: The obsession with the columns nourished by Caravaggio and his patroness Costanza Colonna is at the center of the novel, unraveled with the air of an art history essay but with a freedom of interpretation of the facts that ensures the text the typical pathos of noir and to the reader an unpublished historical fresco. Such richness of the work’s connective tissue is not surprising; is the result of years of bibliographic and archival research, repeated site visits, the collection of clues and objective elements in support of the audacious hypothesis that at the center of the production of Roman counterfeits which occurred during the 16th century, there was even Michelangelo Buonarroti, committed firsthand in this singular fabric. To testify against, but with infinite admiration for the Master, a now close-to-death Michelangelo Merisi, intent on reconstructing, with the help of the friar who collects his last thoughts, the precious notebooks in which he had written stories, news, and experiences over the years. The author recounts her personal obsession with her through those of the characters she brings to life. It matters little to identify with certainty the information that responds to established truths in order to separate them from the always plausible suggestions with which the text is disseminated. It is the obsession with the discovery that sustained Sassano in the long drafting of the novel. It is an obsession that the author shares with the reader, making Caravaggio’s notebooks an open work, a path to be continued. The novel shows how erudition is not an end in itself, indeed it pushes us to reconsider culture as a source of pleasure and entertainment, but above all a tool for interpreting the present; offers a cross-section of power in the 16th and 17th centuries from the point of view of a cursed but affirmed artist and for this reason involved in the intrigues that made the history of the period, highlighting the central role of artists in the affirmation of one or the other faction, in the destinies of popes and sovereigns, in the suppression of the enemy. How can we fail to see a parallel with the function of intellectuals and opinion-makers today? in suppressing the enemy? How can we fail to see a parallel with the function of intellectuals and opinion-makers today? in suppressing the enemy? How can we fail to see a parallel with the function of intellectuals and opinion-makers today?
Simonetta Sassano has a degree in economics and has worked in the world of telecommunications for more than 30 years. Over time, she has continued to cultivate her genuine love for art history, sharing it with the people closest to her. Fabio Massimo Fedeli, her husband, took part in the process that saw the
completion of this work, creating the drawings for the notebooks.
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