The Private Life of a Masterpiece
150 b/w photographs, 10 line illustrationsThe world's most well known works of art are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. What has made these images so popular, and how did they come into existence? The Private Life of a Masterpiece answers these questions by delving into the... show more
150 b/w photographs, 10 line illustrationsThe world's most well known works of art are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. What has made these images so popular, and how did they come into existence? The Private Life of a Masterpiece answers these questions by delving into the secrets of iconic works of art dating from 1501 to 1950. Piecing together a trail of clues, it examines each work from conception through completion to afterlife, detailing how the commission came about, the preparation undertaken by the artist, the way the work was executed, how the finished work was received, and its influence on other artists. We learn, for example, that Leonardo devised a new form of perspective when painting the Mona Lisa, and that four centuries later Picasso was detained for stealing the portrait from the Louvre;that Goya painted The Third of May 1808 as a criticism of the monarchy but nonetheless offered it to the king as a gift;that Van Gogh's Sunflowers owes much to improvements in the postal system;that Munch's The Scream was influenced by the Incas;and that Jackson Pollock's paintings were promoted by the CIA. Along the way, we also learn about each artist's life, including the struggles with family, lovers, patrons, and critics. The works featured in this book met with a variety of reactions when first unveiled, and the author details them all, from admiration and respect to horror and contempt. Now readers can judge for themselves. Beautifully illustrated and lucidly written, The Private Life of a Masterpiece offers an innovative and compelling introduction to the extraordinary stories contained in the history of art. It will enthrall all those who wish to know more about this fascinating subject.
Publish date: April 15th 2002
Publisher: University of California Press
Pages no: 240
Edition language: English
This book is a tie-in to the BBC series of the same name. Three of the works (Mona Lisa, Olympia, and Autumn Rhythm) in the book were not included in the television (or at least in the American DVD release of the series). The chapters for the five works that were included in the television series...