The Stories and Secrets Behind the World's most famous Portraits
The world’s most famous portraits and the hidden stories behind their subjects are explored in this fascinating and highly entertaining book.
Portraiture is one of the oldest and most studied genres of art. While most scholars will look at a painting’s composition, style, and themes, often questions remain unanswered—who were these people and why were they painted? This entertaining book reveals the identities and lives of some of the most famous characters that populate art history—from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Readers will learn how the fifteen-year-old subject of da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine nearly destroyed a marriage; that van Dyck’s depiction of Prudence in wild clothes is actually one of the most controversial aristocrats of the seventeenth century; and that Francis Bacon’s character George Dyer was a man he met in a Soho nightclub. These and other stories behind works by Picasso, Klimt, Rubens, Warhol, and dozens of other artists show how portraiture remains one of the most enthralling genres. Based on art scholarship and conveyed in an accessible tone, these fascinating tales of power, lust, intrigue, jealousy, vengeance, and romance will help readers understand masterpieces of art history in an entirely new light.
Michele Robecchi contributes to Art in America, Art Pulse, Flash Art, and Interview. He is co-author of Mona Lisa to Marge: How the World’s Greatest Artworks Entered Popular Culture (Prestel), as well as monographs on the work of Robin Rhode, Sarah Lucas, and Zhang Huan.
Francesca Bonazzoli is an art historian and the art critic for Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest daily newspaper. Her many publications include Mona Lisa to Marge: How the World’s Greatest Artworks Entered Popular Culture (Prestel), which she co-authored with Michele Robecchi.