- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubensby Mark Lamster
Synopses & Reviews
The true story of how seventeenth-century Europe's most famous painter doubled as a secret agent and negotiated a peace between superpowers.Peter Paul Rubens is best remembered as the Old Master with the penchant for fleshy, pink nudes whose popularity was eclipsed by that of Rembrandt van Rijn. In his time, however, Rubens had no equal; his contemporaries revered him as the greatest painter of his era, if not in all history. His undeniable artistic genius, bolstered by a modest disposition and a reputation as a man of tact and discretion, made him a favorite among monarchs and political leaders across Europe, and gave him perfect cover for the clandestine activities that shaped the landscape of seventeenth-century politics.In Master of Shadows, Mark Lamster tells the story of Rubens' life and brilliantly re-creates the culture, religious conflicts, and political intrigues of his time. Commissions to paint military and political leaders drew Rubens from his Antwerp home to London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. The Spanish crown, recognizing the value of his easy access to figures of power, enlisted him into diplomatic service. His uncommon intelligence, preternatural charm, and ability to navigate through ever-shifting political winds allowed him to negotiate a long-sought peace treaty between England and Spain even as Europe's shrewdest statesmen plotted against him. Master of Shadows weaves a gripping drama of cloak-and-dagger diplomacy with an insightful, authoritative exploration of Rubens' art and the private passions that influenced it.
Although his popularity is eclipsed by Rembrandt today, Peter Paul Rubens was revered by his contemporaries as the greatest painter of his era, if not of all history. His undeniable artisticgenius, bolstered by a modest disposition and a reputation as a man of tact and discretion, made him a favorite among monarchs and political leaders across Europe--and gave him the perfect cover for theclandestine activities that shaped the landscape of seventeenth-century politics.
In Master of Shadows, Mark Lamster brilliantly recreates the culture, religious conflicts, and political intrigues of Rubens's time, following the painter from Antwerp to London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome and providing an insightful exploration of Rubens's art as well as the private passionsthat influenced it.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The true story of how seventeenth-century Europe's most famous painter doubled as a secret agent and negotiated a peace between superpowers.
About the Author
\MARK LAMSTER writes on the arts and culture for many publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Metropolis, Print, and ID. His first book, Spalding's World Tour, was an Editor's Choice selection of the New York Times Book Review. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Author's note — Prologue — Ch. I. A novice without experience — Ch. II. Every man for himself — Ch. III. The prince of painters — Ch. IV. A good patriot — Ch. V. Thunder without lightning — Ch. VI. More useful than injurious — Ch. VII. The connecting knot — Ch. VIII. The horrors of war — Epilogue — Acknowledgments — Cast of characters — Chronology — Notes — Bibliography — Illustration credits — Index.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists