One might think that all the Michelangelo paintings ever created by the Renaissance genius are known and documented. Logical, given that Michelangelo (1475-1564) is one of the most researched and famous painters in the history of art -- but erroneous!
The Italian art historian, Antonio Forcellino, claims that infra-red techniques reveal a work previously attributed to Mannerist painter Marcello Venusti, known to create paintings from Michelangelo drawings, is instead a bona fide Michelangelo artwork.
Alleged discoveries of Michelangelo paintings invariably (and understandably) rock the art history world. Edward Fahey, formerly at the Met Museum, recently claimed that the Met's St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness is a Michelangelo masterpiece, while Forcellio made headlines when he asserted that Pieta, which hung over a family's couch in upstate New York, was a Michelangelo painting. To date, neither has been decisively authenticated by art history experts.
This alleged Michelangelo painting, though, may have the most substantiation. Crucifixion with the Madonna, St. John and Two Mourning Angels had been hanging in Campion Hall at University of Oxford (but has since been moved to Oxford's Ashmolean Museum for safe-keeping). Measuring a scant 20" by 13", Crucifixion with the Madonna has on its back 18 wax seals with the Cavalieri family's coat of arms; it is well established that Michelangelo remained profoundly infatuated with Tommaso Cavalieri after they met in 1532.
Wax seals, of course, are insufficient evidence. In his book, "The Lost Michelangelos" (page 139), Forcellino recounts his first impression of Crucifixion with the Madonna, stating
...the figure of Christ was in a wholly different league … the modelling was stronger, and the painting and facial expression had a clarity that created the impression of an artist of much greater standing.
Today, the BBC released a video interview with Father Callaghan of Campion Hall, showing great footage of the Crucifixion. Let me know your thoughts on whether this is or isn't Michelangelo artwork!