Art: 16th Century Fraud

Most strollers in Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art passed by Carpaccio's murky, golden Meditation on the Passion without noticing anything wrong. Those who looked twice saw that the label said Carpaccio but the picture was signed "Andreas Mantinea" (Mantegna).

Last week Meditation's tobacco tones had disappeared, and so had Mantegna's signature. In its place was a faint scrawl. The Museum explained:

Scholars had long felt sure that the Meditation was Carpaccio's, but it took microchemical tests to prove it. Beneath three layers of varnish, the Met's experts came across some 16th Century skullduggery. A...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!