From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Son of the Morning Star and Deus Lo Volt , a biography that breaks the mold-recounting with stunning immediacy the dark genius behind the renowned Spanish painter. Enigmatic, compelling, darkly brilliant and casually masterful in turn, Francisco Goya changed art forever, although the nature of his influence has been widely interpreted. Degas, for one, lamented that because of Goya he was condemned to painting a housewife in her bathtub. During the vile days of the Spanish Inquisition, Goya painted royalty, street urchins and demons with the same brush, bringing his own distinctive touch to each. This unusual man and his ghastly times are the perfect subject for Evan S. Connell, one of our greatest and least conventional writers. This unorthodox biography shines with wit, erudition and prodigious research. To say Connell is intimate with his subject is an understatement: He seems to be inside Goya's famously impenetrable skin. In a colloquial, wry style, Connell introduces a wealth of detail and a comic cast of weird and eccentric characters-dukes, queens and artists-as lewd and incorrigible a group as history has ever produced
The life and work of the great Italian Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) have proved endlessly fascinating for later generations. Da Vinci is perhaps best known for his great works of art and his contribution to art theory. However as modern historians have discovered, the scope of da Vinci's achievement is immense -- his equally impressive contribution to science has been preserved in a vast quantity of notes that became widely known in the 20th century -- and cost even Bill Gates a noticeable part of his fortune when he bought the notebooks in a much publicized auction.
In his biography of da Vinci, National Book Award winner and world-renowned writer Sherwin Nuland explores the enormous breadth in this great man's lifelong pursuit of knowledge.
First published in 1995, this gives new insight into the Bloomsbury group of writers and artists. The book traces the group from its beginnings in the early 20th century to the old age of its founders and the legacy that lives on. Illustrated throughout, this is a collection of portrait studies, decorative images, line drawings and photos.
Georgia O'Keefe (1887?-1986) was one of the most successful American artists of the twentieth century: her arresting paintings of enormous, intimately rendered flowers, desert landscapes, and stark white cow skulls are seminal works of modern art. But behind O'Keeffe's bold work and celebrity was a woman misunderstood by even her most ardent admirers. This large, finely balanced biography offers an astonishingly honest portrayal of a life shrouded in myth.
Thomas Eakins is widely considered one of the great American painters, an artist whose uncompromising realism helped move American art from the Victorian era into the modern age. He is also acclaimed as a paragon of integrity, one who stood up for his artistic beliefs even when they brought him personal and professional difficulty--as when he was fired from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art for removing a model's loincloth in a drawing class.
Yet beneath the surface of Eakins's pictures is a sense of brooding unease and latent violence--a discomfort voiced by one of his sitters who said his portrait "decapitated" her. In Eakins Revealed, art historian Henry Adams examines the dark side of Eakins's life and work, in a startling new biography that will change our understanding of this American icon. Based on close study of Eakins's work and new research in the Bregler papers, a major collection never fully mined by scholars, this volume shows Eakins was not merely uncompromising, but harsh and brutal both in his personal life and in his painting. Adams uncovers the bitter personal feuds and family tragedies surrounding Eakins--his mother died insane and his niece committed suicide amid allegations that Eakins had seduced her--and documents the artist's tendency toward psychological abuse and sexual harassment of those around him.
This provocative book not only unveils new facts about Eakins's life; more important, it makes sense, for the first time, of the enigmas of his work. Eakins Revealed promises to be a controversial biography that will attract readers inside and outside the art world, and fascinate anyone concerned with the mystery of artistic genius.
Michael Angelo da Caravaggio (1571-1610) had an amazingly colorful and adventurous career, full of dramatic contrasts. He was a religious artist who used prostitutes and castrati as his models; a mystic with a police record; the favorite of Cardinals and the Pope's portrait painter, who committed a murder; an outlaw from the Roman hills, lionized at Naples; a Knight of Malta imprisoned in a Maltese dungeon; hunted by hired assassins in a vendetta with an unknown enemy; horribly disfigured by sword cuts in a Neapolitan brothel. Ironically, he died on a lonely Tuscan beach after receiving a pardon that would have allowed him to become an even greater painter.
Based on the latest research, but largely written as an adventure story, the book concentrates on the man and his personality, without neglecting the artist. It vividly re-creates his life in early Baroque Italy and as a "monk of war" on Malta.