Duveen: A Life in Art
Meryle SecrestISBN: 0226744159; 9780226744155;
Anyone who has admired Gainsborough's Blue Boy of the Huntington Collection in California, or Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York owes much of his or her pleasure to art dealer Joseph Duveen (1869–1939). Regarded as the most influential—or, in some circles, notorious—dealer of the twentieth century, Duveen established himself selling the European masterpieces of Titian, Botticelli, Giotto, and Vermeer to newly and lavishly wealthy American businessmen—J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Mellon, to name just a few. It is no exaggeration to say that Duveen was the driving force behind every important private art collection in the United States. The first major biography of Duveen in more than fifty years and the first to make use of his enormous archive—only recently opened to the public—Meryle Secrest's Duveen traces the rapid ascent of the tirelessly...