Cover image for Missing masterpieces : lost works of art, 1450-1900
Missing masterpieces : lost works of art, 1450-1900
Flick, Gert-Rudolf, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : British Art Journal in association with Merrell ; New York : Distributed in the USA by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. through St Martin's Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
344 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N9100 .F54 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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The author shines the spotlight on missing works of art, revealing the lost treasure of paintings that have vanished over the centuries and the colorful human stories that accompany each.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Even masterpieces are not immune to the ravages of war, neglect, misattribution, and changes of taste and fortune. Flick, a German industrialist and Apollo magazine's former owner, breathes life into 24 predominately Old Masters works, including pieces by Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, and others, believed to be "missing in action" rather than known to have been destroyed. The case for each missing painting is carefully laid out through an examination of its creation, provenance, and disappearance. Text and illustrations include extant preparatory drawings and sketches, contemporary prints and copies, references in letters and literature, history and circumstances of creation and ownership, similar treatments of the subject by the same artist, influences on other art, and guarded conjectures about the work's possible fate. While a sense of loss necessarily pervades the book, in an abbreviated introduction Flick optimistically cites examples of important works once thought to be missing that have triumphantly resurfaced, including four such masterpieces during the course of his research. Published on high-quality paper, with outstanding reproductions and layout, this fascinating painting-by-painting examination is recommended to research-level collections.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

An appealing idea for a book is here carried out with savoir faire; 24 short but packed essays are each dedicated to a lost but potentially retrievable Old Master painting, or in one case, sculpture. Flick, as the former owner of Apollo magazine, is exceptionally well versed in matters of connoisseurship and the history of collecting. Those who thought that David's portrait of Lepeletier had surely been destroyed may have to think again. Four of the works on Flick's initial list were recovered during the course of his researches, so the topic has tantalizing aspects. Whether the lost works whose memory is revived here--by Titian, Michelangelo, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, as well as lesser lights such as Pompeo Batoni and Lodovico Carracci--ever do come to light, descriptions of the works and the circumstances of upheaval that led to their lost trail make for engrossing reading. Moreover, and somewhat unexpectedly, the book is richly illustrated with relevant visual evidence--prints, drawings, miniatures, and oil paintings, some of them rarely seen, in very good color reproduction. This scholarly yet utterly unpedantic survey is accessible to a wide audience, amateurs not least. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; faculty; researchers; professionals. P. Emison University of New Hampshire