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The Vanishing Velázquez : A 19th Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece
by Laura Cumming




Overview -
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016

"As compelling and entertaining as a detective novel" (The Economist), the incredible true story--part art history and part mystery--of a Vel zquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed nineteenth-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it.

When John Snare, a nineteenth century provincial bookseller, traveled to a liquidation auction, he found a vivid portrait of King Charles I that defied any explanation. The Charles of the painting was young--too young to be king--and yet also too young to be painted by the Flemish painter to whom the piece was attributed. Snare had found something incredible--but what?

His research brought him to Diego Vel zquez, whose long-lost portrait of Prince Charles has eluded art experts for generations. Vel zquez (1599-1660) was the official painter of the Madrid court, during the time the Spanish Empire teetered on the edge of collapse. When Prince Charles of England--a man wealthy enough to help turn Spain's fortunes--proposed a marriage with a Spanish princess, he allowed just a few hours to sit for his portrait, and Snare believed only Vel zquez could have been the artist of choice. But in making his theory public, Snare was ostracized and forced to choose, like Vel zquez himself, between art and family.

A thrilling investigation into the complex meaning of authenticity and the unshakable determination that drives both artists and collectors of their work, The Vanishing Vel zquez is a "brilliant" (The Atlantic) tale of mystery and detection, of tragic mishaps and mistaken identities, of class, politics, snobbery, crime, and almost farcical accident that reveals how one historic masterpiece was crafted and lost, and how far one man would go to redeem it. Laura Cumming's book is "sumptuous...A gleaming work of someone at the peak of her craft" (The New York Times).

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More About The Vanishing Velázquez by Laura Cumming

 
 
 

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016

"As compelling and entertaining as a detective novel" (The Economist), the incredible true story--part art history and part mystery--of a Vel zquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed nineteenth-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it.

When John Snare, a nineteenth century provincial bookseller, traveled to a liquidation auction, he found a vivid portrait of King Charles I that defied any explanation. The Charles of the painting was young--too young to be king--and yet also too young to be painted by the Flemish painter to whom the piece was attributed. Snare had found something incredible--but what?

His research brought him to Diego Vel zquez, whose long-lost portrait of Prince Charles has eluded art experts for generations. Vel zquez (1599-1660) was the official painter of the Madrid court, during the time the Spanish Empire teetered on the edge of collapse. When Prince Charles of England--a man wealthy enough to help turn Spain's fortunes--proposed a marriage with a Spanish princess, he allowed just a few hours to sit for his portrait, and Snare believed only Vel zquez could have been the artist of choice. But in making his theory public, Snare was ostracized and forced to choose, like Vel zquez himself, between art and family.

A thrilling investigation into the complex meaning of authenticity and the unshakable determination that drives both artists and collectors of their work, The Vanishing Vel zquez is a "brilliant" (The Atlantic) tale of mystery and detection, of tragic mishaps and mistaken identities, of class, politics, snobbery, crime, and almost farcical accident that reveals how one historic masterpiece was crafted and lost, and how far one man would go to redeem it. Laura Cumming's book is "sumptuous...A gleaming work of someone at the peak of her craft" (The New York Times).


This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476762180
  • ISBN-10: 147676218X
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.55 pounds


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