What separates a masterpiece from a piece of junk? Thanks to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and its American spin-off, everyone is searching garage sales and hunting online for hidden gems, wondering whether their attics contain trash or treasures.
In The Art Detective, Philip Mould, one of the world's foremost authorities on British portraiture and an irreverent and delightful expert for the Roadshow, serves up his secrets and his best stories, blending the technical details of art detection and restoration with juicy tales peopled by a range of eccentric collectors, scholars, forgers, and opportunities.
Each chapter focuses on one particular painting and the mystery that surrounds it. Mould is our trusty detective, tracking down clues, uncovering human foibles, and following hunches until the truth is revealed. Mould is known for his ability to crack the toughest puzzles, and whether he's writing about a fake Norman Rockwell, a hidden Rembrandt, or a lost Gainsborough, he brings both the art and the adventure to life. The Art Detective is memoir, mystery, art history, and brilliant yarn all rolled into one.
©2010 Philip-Mould (P)2010 Tantor
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I have always been interested in Art and Art History. This book filled in some gaps on how art experts and art dealers get involved with art and find old masterpieces. To be honest, not all of the stories were interesting, but I really enjoyed the stories about the Norman Rockwell and the Winslow Homer. Philip Mould has definitely had a fulfilling career in art. The audiobook performance was well done by James Langton. Now I just need to check on some of the old art lying around in my closets!!
Wish you knew even more about the back story, you will love this book. I listened to this book in two sittings, and would have enjoyed more. A glimpse into the way art is "made" or not. I especially loved the story about the "old guy and his treasures". This is a day in the life of a treasure hunter and how he goes about the discovery, and more besides. Sit back and enjoy.
Retired interpreter living in NC
Fascinating subject and good historical underpinning. Talented narrator but read too fast as though he had somewhere else to go.
This book sounds like a collection of war stories but leaves a rich residue of real history and biography.
I'm a serious fan of PBS and of Antiques Roadshow in particular. I've always been curious about the appraisers and what happens when the paintings are sold afterwards. Philip Mould deftly writes about that and about how rare and unknown works of art are discovered and authenticated. I liked that each chapter deals with a different painting and the history of the painting. The narration is very well done. I haven't enjoyed a story like this in a while.
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