The Vanishing Man In Pursuit of Velazuez review ↠ 3

summary The Vanishing Man In Pursuit of Velazuez

In a Reading bookseller named John Snare Man In Epub #224 came across the The Vanishing Epubdirt blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction Suspecting Vanishing Man In Kindle #207 that it might be a long lost Velázuez he bought the picture Vanishing Man In Pursuit of PDF or 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 firs. Two enigmatic men are the subject of this book John Snare a bookseller and printer is an ordinary Victorian man who in 1845 attends an inauspicious auction of artefacts from a boys school that has closed down There he sees a painting which casts a spell over him It s a portrait of King Charles I listed in the catalogue as possibly by Van Dyck However Charles is so young in the picture that Snare believes it might be the rumoured but never seen painting by Vel zuez executed when Charles visited the Spanish court as a young prince to woo King Philip IV s daughter At this point in time virtually no one outside Spain has ever seen a Vel zuez Snare buys the painting for 8 He removes some of the grime from a corner of the picture with a moistened finger and loves what he uncovers His uest now is to prove to the world it s the Vel zuez painting The other subject of this book is the largely mysterious Vel zuez himself a man who left virtually no written account of his life and didn t even sign his paintings Vel zuez was my old history of art teacher s favourite painter and I know she would love the elouence of praise Cummings heaps on the Spanish painterThe author Laura Cummings does a great job of intertwining the two narratives Snare s story is a tale of obsessive self destructive love of the little man fighting the establishment of class prejudice and ineuality Just as he is beginning to convince the world his painting is the Vel zuez it is repossessed by its supposed former owners an aristocratic Scottish family and a protracted court case begins in the process of which Snare goes bankrupt and has to auction all his belongings leaving his wife and children in poverty The only thing of worth he doesn t sell is the painting even though the proceeds would have solved all his financial difficulties He can t bring himself to part with the picture Instead he flees with it to New York At this point the painting and his sense of injustice has become precious to him than his wife and family The outcome of this book s investigations is a bit of a let down We don t get a happy or tidy ending No reproduction of this painting exists and the painting which caused John Snare so much suffering has vanished without trace Rather like Vel zuez the man I enjoyed this for several reasons The insights it gave into the snobbery and sense of entitlement of the upper classes in Victorian Britain and the virtually insurmountable obstacles placed in the way of the common man with cultural aspirations were especially fascinating Also it s a fabulous detective story at times It also offers an inspired and inspiring evaluation of the art of Vel zuez

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The Vanishing Man In Pursuit of Velazuez

T 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 exileAn 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. There is something intensely romantic in the fact that while walking up Broadway in the midst of a busy noonday crowd made up of Bulls and Bears rattling omnibuses express wagons Fifth avenue carriages railroad ticket offices big hotels big coaches hurrying passengers to steam on water or land in a few moments and by passing through a rather slim and dusty hall you may shut yourself out from the present In this silent place may be seen a magnificent painting a portrait of Charles I painted by the great V lazuez This is truly superb New York Times March 1860Laura Cumming art critic and author of this non fiction book says Or rather in the drowsy shadows of a library in winter I came upon a curious Victorian pamphlet stitched into a leather bound miscellany between a uaint history of the Hawaiian Islands and a collection of short stories ominously titled Fact and Fiction The pamphlet had been written and published by John Snare a bookseller in Reading England It referred to a portrait of Prince Charles the future Charles I of England painted in 1623 by Diego V lazuez And thus began a uest to discover about said painting This is a story within a story within a story Ms Cumming renders homage to artist V lazuez 1599 1660 and provides a biographical sketch of him Her paean of praise alternates with the story of what the bookseller found where he found it how he became obsessed with the find and what the conseuences were Then as the third story we learn about Ms Cumming s search for further details of the Charles I portrait All in all an interesting labyrinth of a bookIn fact it seems that V lazuez s personal information is rather sketchy Ms Cumming suggests that we get to know him through his art and then she discusses several of his works including the magnificent Las Meninas 1656 However much is known about V lazuez s professional life A memoir had been written during his own life and subseuently in 1739 Antonio Palomino s Works of the Most Eminent Spanish Painters had been published The section on V lazuez detailed several of his paintings The artist was an instant success In 1623 he travelled to Madrid to promote himself and his work and his portfolio consisted of his painting The Water Seller of Seville An influential person Juan de Fonseca immediately bought the painting sat for his own portrait to be painted and a day later tra laaa it was ready and met with much acclaim Before long V lazuez was the Court painter A contemporary of Caravaggio Rembrandt Rubens and Poussin he held his own in exalted company Artist douard Manet was apparently an ardent admirer of V lazuez s workSelf portrait of Diego V lazuez 1643 John Snare s story reads like a thriller Not much was known in England about V lazuez at that time he was referred to as Valasky Velasco and various other permutations and the portrait in uestion had been attributed to Van Dyck Without going into any details and spoiling the book for you let me simply mention that Snare ran into all sorts of problems not least because he was a mere tradesman who was held to merely be dabbling with things that he oughtn t have bothered with He was up against money nobility and a well established art critic the polymath William Stirling Maxwell view spoiler It cost him his marriage his family including a newborn baby whom he might not have seen as a child as well as his bookstore and all his belongings other than the V lazuez hide spoiler

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But most movingly The Vanishing Man is an elouent and passionate homage to the Spanish master Velázuez bringing us closer to the creation and appreciation of his works than ever before The Vanishing Man is a riveting detective story and a brilliant reconstruction of an art controversy but it is also a homage to the art of Velázuez written by a critic who remains spellbound by his genius as readers will be spellbound by this book Colm Tóibí. BOTWhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb06x8v2Description Laura Cumming charts the obsession of a 19th century Reading bookseller with a portrait of Charles I painted when the Monarch was a young man on a visit to Madrid The Spanish genius Velasuez painted very few pictures so did John Snare discover a long lost treasure And if so where is it nowThis is a story about the intense emotions that great art can provoke passions that sometimes verge on the irrational and which transcend considerations of value John Snare s conviction about the painting he bought evolved into a dispute with those who had money power and influence In a sense the missing Velasuez became a battleground for class war and the individual against the establishment But at the heart of the story lies a work of art created with such skill and delicacy that it inspired the fiercest of feelings and continues to exert its mysterious pull to this dayEpisode 1 An auction bargain ignites a humble bookseller with a lifelong obsession25 It is 1847 and John Snare invites the public to admire his Velazuez portrait35 The Lost Velasuez is put on show in Edinburgh at the beginning of 1849 But soon Snare finds himself having to fend off not just challenges over the portrait s authenticitybut also overownership45 The Velasuez has been restored to Snare but he has now vanished until the portrait is advertised for show on Broadway in 1860 The Reading bookseller has fled to America55 In 1888 a Velasuez portrait of Prince Charles is reported as being lent to the Reading Art Museum by the widow of John Snare Somehow the picture has returned to BritainLaura Cumming how Vel zuez gave me consolation in grief and set me on the trail of a lost portrait


10 thoughts on “The Vanishing Man In Pursuit of Velazuez

  1. says:

    B 73% | More than Satisfactory Notes Like a box too big for its baubles it’s profuse in puffy packing peanuts padding out vacuities with filler art analyses

  2. says:

    ”They were like guests at a surprise party waiting for your arrival and now you have entered the room their room not the real one around you or so it mysteriously seems The whole scene twinkles with expectation That is t

  3. says:

    Two enigmatic men are the subject of this book John Snare a bookseller and printer is an ordinary Victorian man who in 1845 attends an inauspicious auction of artefacts from a boys’ school that has closed down There he sees a painting which casts a spell over him It’s a portrait of King Charles I listed in the catalogue as possibly by Van Dyck However Charles is so young in the picture that Snare believes it might

  4. says:

    Hmm a nice bookChapters mostly alternate between the story of one John Snare a mid ninetenth century bookseller stationer and printer from Reading who bought at auction a painting that he became convinced was a portrait of Charles I by Velázu

  5. says:

    An excellent overview of the work of Diego Velazuez and his standing among the Old Masters It's also the story of one man transfixed to the point of monomania by one of Velazuez's works John Snare a 19th century bookseller and collector Highly recommended

  6. says:

    “There is something intensely romantic in the fact that while walking up Broadway in the midst of a busy noonday crowd – made up of Bulls and Bears rattling omnibuses express wagons Fifth avenue carriages rail

  7. says:

    BOTWhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb06x8v2Description Laura Cumming charts the obsession of a 19th century Reading bookseller with a portrait of Charles I painted when the Monarch was a young man on a visit to Madrid The Spanish genius Velasuez painted very few pictures so did John Snare discover a long lost treasure? And if so where is it now?This is a story about the intense emotions that great art can provoke passions that sometimes verge on

  8. says:

    An obsession with a work of art led to the ruin of a British man John Snare In 1845 Snare purchased an old painting at an auction He thought it might be a painting of Charles I painted by Velazuez when the future English k

  9. says:

    In 1845 a humble bookseller named John Snare bought a painting at an auction which was listed as being probably a Van Dyck but which h

  10. says:

    I love Velasuez and I like true detective stories but for me this book has been a bit overhyped The basic problem is that despite all the research Laura Cumming has done ultimately there is very little known about