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history
visual arts
Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World's Most Coveted Masterpiece
 
 
Author
Noah Charney.
Publisher PublicAffairs  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.15 inches
ISBN 9781586488000
Pages/Publication Date 319/2010
Daedalus Item Code 32994
This item is not available.
Description
You may not have heard of it, but Jan van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece, also known as The Mystic Lamb for its oddly literal symbol of Christ, is on many art historians' lists of the ten most important paintings known; it certainly is the most frequently stolen artwork of all time. Since 1432, the 12-panel oil painting has been looted in three wars, partially burned, forged, smuggled, censored, hidden, attacked by iconoclasts, hunted by the Nazis and Napoleon, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, and stolen 13 times. In a fast-moving account that "often reads like a political thriller" (Maclean's), art historian Noah Charney unravels the painting's storied past and the psychological, ideological, religious, political, and social motivations that have led so many to covet this masterpiece.

"Charney's wonderfully learned and entertaining book tells us about all the indignities this famous image has endured through the centuries ... but the book also has some much broader point to make about the cultural significance of important paintings.... Charney tackles some important subjects (the creation of the modern art-stealing industry, our sensible obsession with almost burglar-proof museums) but he wears his learning lightly and the next extraordinary tale is only ever a few pages away."Catholic Herald

 
 
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