Actor Federico Castelluccio to pen book on Guercino discovery


Federico Castelluccio with Guercino’s ‘St. Sebastian,’ painted circa 1632-1634.

Federico Castelluccio with Guercino’s ‘St. Sebastian,’ painted circa 1632-1634.

PRINCETON, N.J. – Actor/art collector/artist Federico Castelluccio, whose discovery of a 17th century Baroque masterpiece of St. Sebastian by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as “Guercino,” gained world-wide attention last fall, is writing a book about the experience.

Since that time, this painting, one of only three half-length St. Sebastians by Guercino in the world, has been on exhibit at the Miradolo Castle near Torino, Italy and is currently on public view for the first time in North America at Princeton University Art Museum through January.

Castelluccio visited the campus recently to film an on-camera video interview to discuss his discovery of the painting and its lineage, for use at the university.

And now, Federico Castelluccio is writing his book The Master’s Piece: Uncovering the Secrets of a Lost Baroque Treasure, about the discovery of the Guercino painting, taking readers through his more than three-years of extensive research tracing its fascinating origin and history over the last 350 years, along with the various stages of testing, authentication and working with top conservators in the restoration process.

Having signed on with top New York literary agent Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates, the firm behind The Da Vinci Code and other best sellers, Castelluccio will also delve into how he developed his connoisseurship of Baroque art collecting, ultimately leading to the discovery of the Guercino masterpiece.

Previous to his well-documented discovery of the Guercino at a small auction house in Germany, Castelluccio, known to many for his role on the HBO television series The Sopranos, had already amassed a museum quality collection of Old Master Baroque paintings and drawings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries from his various travels all over Europe, auctions and private dealers. His private collection includes works by Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Francesco De Mura, Palma il Giovane and Giovanni Andrea Sirani.