The Eye: An Insider's Memoir

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An Insider's Memoir of Masterpieces, Money, and the Magnetism of Art

By Philippe Costamagna, Frank Wynne (Translator) 

An adventure story and a memoir all in one, The Eye exposes readers to a secret, high-stakes profession involving masterpieces, massive amounts of money and an intense love of painting.

"It’s a rare and secret profession, comprising a few dozen people around the world equipped with a mysterious mixture of knowledge and innate sensibility. Summoned to Swiss bank vaults, Fifth Avenue apartments, and Tokyo storerooms, they are entrusted by collectors, dealers, and museums to decide if a coveted picture is real or fake and to determine if it was painted by Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael."

The Eye sheds light on the rarefied world of persons devoted to the authentication and discovery of Old Master artworks.

Written by a leading expert on the Renaissance it is an eloquent argument for the enduring value of visual creativity, told with passion, brilliance, and surprising candor.

Philippe Costamagna is a specialist in sixteenth-century Italian painting and director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Ajaccio, Corsica. He is the author of a book on the Florentine Renaissance painter Pontormo. Frank Wynne is among the English language’s greatest living translators from the Spanish, has won many awards for his work, and is the translator of, among others, Javier Cercas, Tómas Eloy Martinez, and Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

Hardcover, 256 pages.

Dimensions: 6 x 8.5 x 1 inches

Publication Date: August 14, 2018

"Exhilarating and informative ... Mr. Costamagna is catholic in his enthusiasm and is open to the new. He tells delicious stories." ― The Wall Street Journal

"An informative yet gripping and seductively gossipy memoir ... pulls back the curtain on connoisseurship at its most powerful ... Costamagna whirls his reader through a world where the forgotten masterpieces of provincial museums matter more than the known stars of grand institutions, and where a Raphael comes to light in the apartment of a Strasbourg taxi driver rather than the palace of a duchess." ― The Financial Times