Scandals, Vandals, and Da Vincis:
A Gallery of Remarkable Art Tales
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The fascinating stories behind some of the world’s most famous masterpieces
Caravaggios, Rembrandts, Manets -- the works of immortal artists such as these are indelibly imprinted in the public mind; they are priceless masterpieces whose beauty, artistry, and emotional impact have inspired admiration, awe, and envy through the centuries. Yet behind many of these brilliant paintings and sculptures are fascinating, unique histories. In Scandals, Vandals, and da Vincis, award-winning author Harvey Rachlin relates in exciting detail how twenty-six of these works came to be created and how they became caught up in murder, romance, theft, tragedy, oppression, war, court battles, personal rebellion, spiritualism, and revolution.
Published in the United Kingdom by Robson/Anova Books
From the Anova Books catalog:
• Reveals the compelling true stories behind the canvasses of famous masterpieces
• A book to appeal to art lovers, students, and the general reader alike
From thousands of great works of art, Harvey Rachlin has selected a couple dozen paintings behind whose canvasses lurk the most compelling stories. Little do people know many of the world’s most incomparable masterpieces have figured in revolutions, ransoms, thefts, and much more. They have passed through the hands of a cast of colourful characters (besides the artists themselves), including kings, queens, wealthy patrons, spies, marauders, Nazis, art sleuths and even the mentally deranged.
Scandals, Vandals, and da Vincis is a unique book in the way it frames great masterpieces with true stories as compelling, thrilling, poignant and inspiring as the paintings themselves. It will keep readers riveted while enlightening them about famous masterpieces from around the world.
- Featured in ARTnews, Newsday, Northwest Herald (Illinois), The Windsor Star (Ontario)
“Readers may find an entirely new appreciation for art and its creators after reading Rachlin's dishy tales of the people behind and beyond 26 famous canvases . . . it's an entertaining read full of good, gossipy tales for art aficionados or those interested in sounding like one.”
“In this book of art gossip and intrigue, Rachlin . . . provides breezy and sometimes riveting accounts of 26 famous paintings.”
“Great paintings often have great backstories, and in this lively, gossipy book, prolific Rachlin takes full advantage . . . he takes an almost pulp-fictional approach to tales of art theft, vandalism, public trials, and private inspirations.”
--Booklist (American Library Association)
“Harvey Rachlin traces the providence of many of the greatest and most well-known paintings in the world in Scandals, Vandals, and Da Vincis: A Gallery of Remarkable Art Tales. From Da Vincis to Dali, these tales of theft, forgery, revolution and oppression are amazing bits of trivia you can wow your friends with at the next cocktail party. Masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, Washington Crossing the Delaware and Guernica are just a few of the amazing histories you'll find in this book.”
"Harvey Rachlin inspires and interests readers
with these fascinating tales of some of the world's greatest artworks. He makes
history come alive with his mystery-style writing. He tells the story of the
Mona Lisa and the star-crossed marriage proposal of Christina of Denmark,
Duchess of Milan which was painted, in only three hours, by Hans Holbein the
Younger to show King Henry VIII. Rachlin presents the background histories of
twenty-six great artworks and makes them fascinating."
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Published April 2007
paperback / 368 pages