Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Private Life of a Masterpiece: Uncovering the Forgotten Secrets and Hidden Life Histories of Iconic Works of Art » User review

The Journey from Painting to Icon

  • Aug 13, 2009
  • by
Monica Bohm-Duchen has taken eight famous paintings and told me the story of both the artist and the painting with the understanding that there really is no separation between the artist and his or her paintings. How I hope that she writes a sequel, another sequel, another sequel! Of course, the next time I hope she includes women artists.

Especially, this book speaks to artists and art lovers. We artists know that each painting is a spirit that is very much alive.

Unlike most book discussion of great art, Bohm-Duchen's is a page turner and almost a voyeuristic glimpse into the private lives of eight artists, not so easily gleaned in the retrospectives and other artists' tomes that speak of the art of these famous artists. I got an amazing pictural look at Jackson Pollock and gained a greater respect for his artistic composition and methodology. I discovered the history of madness of the van Gogh family here and not in literally dozens of other books on van Gogh and his body of work. Every other book merely said Theo, his benefactor and art gallery employee brother, died about six months after Vincent and never mentioned madness as the cause, or that his youngest brother killed himself at 32 or that his favorite sister, Wil, also spent time committed to a mental asylum.

Bravo! Every artist and art lover and artist to be needs to read this book now. This book is a gift of joy you give yourself and others.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
About the reviewer
Barbara Garro ()
Ranked #140
When I am not writing or painting or teaching, I am reading, literally hundreds of non-fiction books every year. Why? Because I love learning from other people's journeys. Authors work hard to bring … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this book


Table of Contents:

David / Michelangelo Buonarroti -- Mona Lisa / Leonardo da Vinci -- The third of May 1808 / Francisco de Goya -- Olympia / Edouard Manet -- Sunflowers / Vincent van Gogh -- The scream / Edward Munch -- Les demoiselles d'Avignon / Pablo Picasso -- Autumn rhythm / Jackson Pollock.

Accompanies the BBC TV series.
view wiki


Books, Art, Nonfiction Books, Bbc, Art Books, Art History, Art And Society, Artistic Masterpieces, Art Criticism


ISBN-10: 0520233786 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780520233782 (hbk.)
Author: Monica Bohm-Duchen
Genre: Art Criticism
Publisher: University of California Press
Date Published: April 15, 2002
First to Review

"The Journey from Painting to Icon"
© 2015 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since