The Vanishing Man

The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velazquez

Non-Fiction, Art, Design & Photography, Art, Artist Monographs & Biographies
Paperback Published on: 05/01/2017
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Synopsis

Velázquez invents a new kind of art: the painting a living theatre, a performance that extends out into our world and gives a part to each and every one of us, embracing every single viewer. In 1845, a Reading bookseller named John Snare came across the dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velazquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history. When Laura Cumming stumbled on a startling trial involving John Snare, it sent her on a search of her own. At first she was pursuing the picture, and the life and work of the elusive painter, but then she found herself following the bookseller's fortunes too - from London to Edinburgh to nineteenth-century New York, from fame to ruin and exile. With an innovative fusion of detection and biography, this book shows how and why great works of art can affect us, even to the point of mania. And on the trail of John Snare, Cumming makes a surprising discovery of her own. But most movingly, The Vanishing Man is an eloquent and passionate homage to the Spanish master Velazquez, bringing us closer to the creation and appreciation of his works than ever before. 'Part art history, part detective story, how the purchase of a lost Velazquez became a terrible curse' - Sunday Times An art critic for The Observer since 1999, Laura Cumming has been an arts producer for the BBC World Service and the New Statesman. Her publications include The Vanishing Man, longlisted for the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize and A Face to the World.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099587040
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Weight: 277g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 20 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Vanishing Man
An interesting account of a mysterious lost painting...
This book tells two stories, that of John Snare, a bookseller and amateur art enthusiast, and that of Velázquez, the renowned Spanish painter. When Snare... READ MORE
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