Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

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9780300064377: Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

This work is an account of the formation of the first great royal art collections. Following the English Civil War, the execution of Charles I and the public auction of his collection and those of his associates, large numbers of works of art of the finest quality came on to the market and were sought after with enthusiasm by many of the richest and most important figures in Europe. This new and powerful interest in acquiring pictures transformed the way in which painting was viewed within the context of European culture, and is a story of greed, intrigue and passion. Starting with the formation and dissolution of the first English royal collection (and those of other notable royalists like the Dukes of Arundel and Buckingham), the author moves on to discuss the great acquisitions of Philip IV of Spain - many secured by his agents from the "Sale of the Century" in 1650 when 1570 pictures were disposed of by the victorious English parliamentarians. Titians, Corregios, Raphaels and other great masterpieces (most now still in the Prado) were acquired for derisory sums. Others enriched collections in the Netherlands and in France, and Brown moves on to discuss the activities of collectors in Antwerp and Brussels, including Peter Paul Rubens and the Hapsburg Archduke Leopold William of Austria whose collection was for a time the most famous in Europe and now forms the nucleus of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Moving on to France, the origins of the Louvre in the collections of Mazarin, Colbert and Richelieu are explored and the book ends with a consideration of the way in which painting became, in the course of the 17th century, to be considered the pre-eminent and most highly prized of the visual arts.

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Review:

"A lavishly illustrated edition ... full of down-to-earth narrative about dickering and haggling among princes and their agents.... Brown is particularly good at converting the hard evidence of the Hapsburg acquisitions into a sort of poignant thriller."--Raymond Sokolov, The Wall Street Journal

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Jonathan Brown
Editore: Yale University Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0300064373 ISBN 13: 9780300064377
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(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0300064373

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