“As compelling and unique as a detective novel” (The Economist), the brilliant precise story—part artwork heritage and half mystery—of a Velázquez portrait that went lacking and the obsessed nineteenth-century bookseller decided to turn out he had chanced on it.

When John Snare, a 19th century provincial bookseller, traveled to a liquidation public sale, he came across a brilliant portrait of King Charles I that confounded any rationalization. The Charles of the portray was once young—too younger to be king—and but additionally too younger to be painted by way of the Flemish painter to whom the piece used to be attributed. Snare had came across whatever incredible—but what?

His study introduced him to Diego Velázquez, whose long-lost portrait of Prince Charles has eluded paintings specialists for generations. Velázquez (1599–1660) used to be the reliable painter of the Madrid courtroom, throughout the time the Spanish Empire teetered at the fringe of cave in. whilst Prince Charles of England—a guy prosperous adequate to assist flip Spain’s fortunes—proposed a wedding with a Spanish princess, he allowed quite a few hours to sit down for his portrait, and Snare believed basically Velázquez might have been the artist of selection. yet in making his idea public, Snare was once ostracized and compelled to decide on, like Velázquez himself, among paintings and family.

A exciting research into the advanced that means of authenticity and the unshakable choice that drives either artists and creditors in their paintings, The Vanishing Velázquez is a “brilliant” (The Atlantic) story of puzzle and detection, of tragic mishaps and incorrect identities, of sophistication, politics, snobbery, crime, and nearly farcical coincidence that finds how one ancient masterpiece used to be crafted and misplaced, and the way a ways one guy could visit redeem it. Laura Cumming’s ebook is “sumptuous...A sparkling paintings of somebody on the top of her craft” (The big apple Times).

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Lewis Hind, whose Days with Velasquez all yet bursts with love: could he locate new readers today). My thank you are as a result of the entire NAL librarians; additionally to Paul Cox on the nationwide Portrait Gallery Library; Sarah Jeffcott on the Scottish nationwide Portrait Gallery Library; Miriam Palfrey at interpreting Library; and Maurita Baldock on the New-York old Society. For answering all kinds of surprising questions, i'm thankful to David Allen eco-friendly, the Ross usher in Charles Burnett, Jo Edwards at Duff condominium, Bendor Grosvenor, Carrie Hunnicutt on the Meadows Museum, Diana Mackarill, Catherine Macleod on the nationwide Portrait Gallery, Molly Marder on the Chrysler Museum, Virginia Napoleone on the nationwide Gallery, Clive Stafford Smith, Mark Weiss and Florence Evans of the Weiss Gallery. Clara Farmer is a wonderful editor—exacting, acute and ingenious. i'm additionally thankful to Susannah Otter and Charlotte Humphery for all their kindness at Chatto and to Mandy Greenfield, meticulous reproduction editor, and Alex Milner, eagle-eyed proofreader. At Scribner, Nan Graham despatched the e-book in new instructions together with her robust insights and encouragement. thank you additionally to Daniel Loedel for his hot editorial help. In Patrick Walsh of Conville and Walsh, my pal and champion, i've got easily the simplest of all brokers. elements of this e-book have been written in tough and anxious occasions and that i can by no means be grateful sufficient to Sarah Baxter, Louise Cattrell, Jill Chisholm, Kate Colquhoun, Timothy Cumming and Kate Kellaway for his or her unheard of cohesion: bravehearts, all. I also needs to wish to thank Sarah Donaldson, Carol McDaid, Susannah Clapp, Luke Jennings, Fiona Maddocks and John Mulholland on the Observer, Josephine Oxley, Sir John Leighton, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, David Edgar and Tom Lubbock, with whom I had the main exhilarating conversations approximately artwork whilst he used to be alive and that i used to be privileged to understand him. My daughters, Hilla and Thea, by no means knew their grandfather James, who greater than a little resembled Velázquez in brain in addition to visual appeal; yet they've got grown up loving the works of either and not resented for all time i've got spent at the Spaniard. Their father, my husband, Dennis Sewell, has helped me in each possible approach, from the 1st clue to the final discovery, daily, by no means wasting religion in me (or Snare), by no means ceasing in his generosity. This ebook is his up to mine, with boundless love and gratitude. � SEBASTIAN BARFIELD LAURA CUMMING has been the artwork critic of the Observer considering the fact that 1999. formerly, she was once arts manufacturer for the BBC global provider, arts editor of the hot Statesman journal, literary editor of the Listener, and deputy editor of Literary evaluate. She is a former columnist for the bring in and has contributed to the London night regular, the mum or dad, L’Express, and trend. Her e-book A Face to the area: On Self-Portraits used to be broadly reviewed to severe acclaim. MEET THE AUTHORS, WATCH video clips AND extra AT SimonandSchuster. com authors. simonandschuster. com/Laura-Cumming additionally by way of LAURA CUMMING A Face to the area: On Self-Portraits we are hoping you loved interpreting this Scribner publication.

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