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Art and Money

An Irreverent History

By (author) Aubrey Menen
Format: Hardback
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, New York, United States
Imprint: McGraw-Hill Inc.,US
Published: 30th Jun 1980
Dimensions: w 140mm h 210mm
ISBN-10: 0070414831
ISBN-13: 9780070414839
Barcode No: 9780070414839
Surveys the history of financing art from sculpture in the fifth century B.C. to the marketing of Pompeii today, chronicling the struggles of Phidias, Donatello, Michelangelo, Rubens, Cezanne, Picasso, and other artists to earn their keep.

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Kirkus US
For Menen, every connection between art and money is pretty funny, whether it's artists with an eye on the dollar-value of their work or dealers who underwrite their raw efforts for future profit. And some of it might be, if Menen didn't try for a laugh-a-line. Thus, in this burlesque history of art as a business from the Greeks to today's auction houses, we come upon English painter Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey, who made provision in his will for the purchase of paintings by the Royal Academy - establishing what Menen dubs the first "grants in aid." It's a debatable point; but given Chantrey's rise from poverty via membership in the Academy (and a flattering portrait of jowly George IV), it's not a bad story. But Menen milks it by cracking wise over every provision in Chantrey's will. (If his wife remarries, she'll be cut off: "did he know that [she] would fling herself, thanking God, into the arms of a man who never touched a chisel or a paintbrush in his life? It happens.") He has some legitimate sport with "icy" neoclassicism's reliance on smooth white Roman copies of "warm" Greek marbles - and lots of guffaws at the expense of the Impressionists, who called themselves Independents. . . "but a less independent group of painters is hard to imagine. They were either living off their fathers, or wives, or aunts, or (that last resort of neglected French genius) the American in Paris." Like my-kid-brother-could-do-better remarks about the moderns (which Menen also repeats), of trifling interest only. (Kirkus Reviews)