An irresistible history of art dealers— a “roll call of rakes and eccentrics” (Observer)—by an expert with “a backstage pass to this . . . obsessively secretive profession” (Telegraph)
Insider and acclaimed author Philip Hook pulls back the curtain on the world of art dealers, those hidden players in history who peddled masterpieces to royalty, moguls, and museums. From its beginnings in 15th-century Antwerp to the rich hauteur of contemporary galleries in New York, Paris, and London, art dealing has evolved through the brilliance and cunning of these “purveyors of fantasy”—tailors, spies, anarchists, scholars, and aristocrats among them.
This parade of the savviest, most heroic (and sometimes duplicitous) art dealers includes Joseph Duveen, largely responsible for the mass migration of Old Master works from Europe to America; Paul Durand-Ruel, the Impressionists’ champion; Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, high priest of Cubism; Leo Castelli, dealer-midwife to Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, and dozens of others.
“Fascinating . . . both wise and timely.”—Guardian
“Makes even the most heinous acts it describes glint with comedy.”—Sunday Times