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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Michelangelo Revealed

Airs Wednesday, May 13 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Pietà, one of Michelangelo's most famous sculptures. (Secrets of the Dead: Michelangelo Revealed)

Throughout his masterful career, Michelangelo glorified the church, etching Catholic ideals into the sculptures and artwork that defined religion for the masses. Now, 500 years after his death, art historian Antonio Forcellino has found evidence of Michelangelo’s involvement with a clandestine fellowship trying to reform the Catholic Church from within. The group’s radical ideas and accusations of corruption were considered heretical and punishable by death. Michelangelo’s involvement put him at dangerous odds with powerful officials who held his livelihood — and life — in their hands. Michelangelo Revealed paints a stunning new picture of brave religious expression, personal vendettas, careful cover-ups and a most gifted artist desperately trying to reconcile his loyalty to the church with his own personal belief about the road to salvation. Visit the Secrets of the Dead website to explore more cases.

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