Synopses & Reviews
In this intriguing book independent art historian and art dealer Kline describes his serendipitous discovery of a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing from an unattributed reproduction in a Christie's catalogue in 2000 and relives the 15 year long investigation into the drawing's history that followed. Equal parts autobiography and art history Kline's story points to his struggle to find a career that suited his "inner poet" and the significance the Holy Child drawing took on in his marriage. Guided by figures such as Bernard Berenson a "self made connoisseur of Italian Renaissance art" mythologist and philosopher Joseph Campbell and art dealer Eugene Victor Thaw Kline enthusiastically (though sometimes extravagantly) conveys his love of connoisseurship and of "art exploring"—combing through thrift stores flea markets antique shops and estate sales in search of lost treasures. Studying Leonardo he writes "was like reading a wonderful and exciting book that you kept putting down prolonging the pleasure for another day not wanting it to end." Part two offers several chapters concerning other discoveries by Kline including two of the rarest and earliest New World sculptures from Colonial Mexico and lost paintings by Vermeer Jan Brueghel the Elder Gottlieb Schick and George Caleb Bingham. The collector's investigations highlight the misleading and seemingly manipulative behavior of auction houses and museum experts eventually leading Kline to the conclusion that "all was fair in love and war and apparently in art bidding." Kline's personal narrative provides a look into the world of lost art and those who search for it. Color illus. (May) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A single sketch becomes an all-consuming quest to understand and identify a work by Leonardo da Vinci himself--the first new drawing by the great master to have surfaced in over a century.
Fred Kline is a well-known art historian, dealer, connoisseur, and explorer who has made a career of scouring antique stores, estate sales, and auctions looking for unusual and often misidentified works of art. Many of the gems he has found are now in major museum collections like the Frick, the Getty, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But this book is about the discovery of one piece in particular: About ten years ago, when Kline was routinely combing through a Christie's catalog, a beautiful little drawing caught his eye. Attributed to Carracci, it came with a very low estimate, but Kline's every instinct told him that the attribution was wrong. He placed a bid and the low asking price and bought the drawing outright. And that was the beginning of how Kline discovered Leonardo da Vinci's model drawing for the Infant Jesus and the Infant St. John.
It is the first work by da Vinci to have surfaced in over a century. Leonardo s Holy Child chronicles not only the story of this amazing discovery, from Kline's research all over the world to how exactly attributions work with regards to the old masters (most of their works are unsigned). Kline also sheds light on the idea of "connoisseurship," an often-overlooked facet of art history that's almost Holmesian in its intricacy and specificity.
About the Author
Fred R. Kline is a generalist art historian, art dealer, artist, and writer. His numerous and diverse discoveries have been covered in the New York Times and Arts and Antiques, and have been acquired by the Getty Museum, the Morgan Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many others. He has served on the