A painting by Michelangelo, found in a town of Tonawanda home, is now restored and in Rome to be part of a prestigious exhibit of High Renaissance art. Martin Kober of Tonawanda is the local owner of the painting that he announced he had in his possession about a year ago.
The Fondazione Roma, the Rome Foundation, brought the painting called The Pieta, to Rome and funded its restoration over the last six months. The Foundation is one of Rome's leading philanthropic and cultural institutions.
The foundation is sponsoring the exhibit, titled The Renaissance in Rome: A Token to Michelangelo and Raphael, which examines in about 170 objects the artistic, architectural and planning aspects of the period in Rome.in Rome opening Tuesday and running through Feb. 12, 2012.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made since we unveiled the painting to the public last October,” Kober said. “We moved it successfully to Rome, where it’s been restored to near its original splendor. It’s a major milestone for the painting to be included in an exhibit of this caliber and hang beside generally acknowledged works by Michelangelo, Raphael and other major Renaissance painters.”
The Pieta was painted on 19 inches by 25 inches of spruce circa 1545, when the artist was about 70 years old. The painting then followed a long and documented provenance that led to the Kober family owning it.
Kober said while in the Tonawanda home, a child bounced a tennis ball off it above the family mantle. Then it sat behind a living room couch for years.
Kober began research nine years ago to document the provenance and place the painting in its deserved historical context as a Michelangelo. But a disagreement among scholars and art experts continues as to whether Michelangelo, or one of his collaborators, painted La Pieta With Two Angels.