For the second year in a row, I am turning over the blog to guest posters for the month of December. And for the second year in a row, we’ve had a great response–thirty-three requests for spots! For the next month you’ll be hearing from writers, editors, and other pros on a variety of topics. I always let the guest writers choose their own subject and give them carte blanche while they’re here. There are no limitations on topic or language, and this time we’ve got everything from favorite words to sexsomnia! Since I will be hunkered down doing revisions on the first of my new books for NAL/Penguin, I am turning comments off for the month. Most posters will include links to their own sites if you want to follow up with them. So, I wish you all the best of holiday seasons–peace, prosperity, good health, and a fabulous start to 2015. See you in the new year!
Today we welcome Erin Satie.
I am so delighted and honored to be visiting Deanna’s blog & I wanted to write something that would be worthy of her audience: sophisticated, worldly, intelligent.
(I am a huge fan & apparently I have no shame about self-flattery.)
Or self-promotion. I’ve just released my second novel, The Lover’s Knot, and the heroine is a skilled forger–in fact, as the novel opens, the reader finds out that she’s forged a suicide note & subsequently inherited quite a substantial sum of money from the deceased. Sounds suspicious, right? The hero of the novel certainly thinks so.
So I will tempt you with a theory I’ve always found fairly compelling about a famous forger from history: Michelangelo.
Yes, that Michelangelo. The painter/sculptor/titan of the Renaissance.
Michelangelo’s earliest biographers commented on his ability as a forger. Vasari, in his Lives of the Artists, writes that Michelangelo made a habit of borrowing fine drawings, forging perfect copies, and then aging them so they couldn’t be distinguished from the originals. He’d return his copy to the owner so that he could keep–and study–the genuine article.
Another early biographer, Condivi, describes an incident when Michelangelo sculpted a Sleeping Cupid, aged it artificially, and sold it as a genuine antiquity.
Why? Well, at least one modern art historian, Lynn Catterson, has made a career from digging through Michelangelo’s financial records and her answer is simple: for the money.
Michelangelo, Catterson says, made a fortune at a very young age. He bought blocks of marble that can’t be accounted for from his known, attributed works and banked income from unknown sources. (Here is a New York Times article about Catterson’s theory: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/18/arts/design/18laoc.html
Catterson sensationalizes her theory by attributing a very famous Classical sculpture, the Laocoon, to Michelangelo. He was certainly on hand when the sculpture was unearthed in Rome.
I’m not sure I buy the argument that Michelangelo is the artist behind any particular sculpture. But the idea that Michelangelo was a forger? That seems credible enough to me. Classical art was in fashion. Pieces that could pass as authentic fetched fetched high prices on the market. A talented artist with an eye for his bottom line might well have put his talents to nefarious uses.
So. What do you think? Was Michelangelo a forger? Would you think less of him if you found out that the great artist didn’t mind passing off his own work as someone else’s?
I admit, this theory about forgery makes me like Michelangelo more rather than less.
And, if you’re interested in my lady forger, here’s the blurb:
The Lover’s Knot
Memory is his weapon. Forgetting is her armor.
Sophie Roe was once a wealthy young lady, with an adoring fiancé. But that was ten years ago.
Now Sophie barely scrapes a living in trade. Her benefactor, the Duke of Clive, is dead. And the man she jilted is the new duke: rich, powerful, and determined to think the worst of Sophie.
Julian has never been able to forget Sophie. He intends to find out just why she rejected him—and why she’s lying about the old duke’s death.
Sophie is hopelessly entangled in the past. But as long-buried secrets and betrayals come to light, Julian may be the man to set her free…
It just released this week–check your favorite retailer or click on over to the book’s page on my website for vendor links: www.erinsatie.com/loversknot
Thanks for reading and thanks to Deanna for having me!