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Fake It 'til You Make It!

Carol Tenwalde

Did your Mom tell you that if you didn't have something good to say about someone don't say anything at all? It was one of my Mom's mantras and it is one of the reasons I was distressed to see this headline: How a forged sculpture boosted Michelangelo's career. You can read all the details HERE. The gist of the story is, at 21, he had the talent and the passion, but not the name necessary to sell his work for a profitable price. He was also working in Florence at the beginning of the Renaissance, when many art collectors were more fascinated by the idea of possessing some of the classical sculptures that were beginning to be unearthed than acquiring contemporary art.

The story goes that Michelangelo and his art dealer buddy took one of M's sculptures and buried in his backyard to age the piece. It was later sold to a Cardinal for a very high price. All went well until the Cardinal found out he was duped. The Cardinal demanded his money back from the dealer but not M. Hmmm? Instead he invited M to Rome to sculpt and paint and thus began M's VERY impressive career. Puzzling isn't it?

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