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Posts Tagged ‘Art History’

Priceless ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Mark Deakins
9:31

In his compelling memoir, Robert K. Wittman shares stories behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities: The golden armor of an ancient Peruvian warrior king, the Rodin sculpture that inspired the Impressionist movement,  the headdress Geronimo wore at his final pow-wow and a rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation’s first African-American regiments.  Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a 20-year career that was nothing short of extraordinary. He went undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid.

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Juliet ♥ ♥ ♥
Cassandra Campbell
16 discs

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.  This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei.  In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.

But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”

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Nefertiti  ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Cassandra Campbell
13 discs

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods, overthrow the priests of Amun, and introduce a new sun god for all to worship. From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds—and brave enough to tell the queen—is her younger sister

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Provenance: How a Con Man & a Forger re-wrote the History of Modern Art ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Marty Peterson
8 hrs 59 mins

In 1986, when struggling painter and single father John Myatt advertised copies of famous paintings, he never imagined he’d become a key player in one of Britain’s biggest art frauds. Myatt soon met John Drewe, who claimed to be a physicist and avid art collector. Soon Drewe, a silver-tongued con man, was passing off Myatt’s work as genuine, including paintings in the style of artists like Giacometti and Ben Nicholson. When buyers expressed concern about the works’ provenance, Drewe began the painstaking process of falsifying records of ownership. Posing as a benefactor, Drewe even planted false documents in the archives of London’s Tate Gallery, but suspicious historians and archivists eventually assisted Scotland Yard in bringing him to justice.  -Publisher’s Weekly

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Pictures at an Exhibition ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Mark Bramhall
7 discs

Born to an art dealer and his pianist wife, Max Berenzon is forbidden from entering the family’s business for reasons he cannot understand. He reluctantly attends medical school, reserving his true passion for his father’s beautiful gallery assistant, Rose. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding, returning in 1944 to find that their priceless art collection has vanished. In Max’s obsessive hunt to recover his father’s paintings, he navigates a torn city of corrupt art dealers, black marketers, Râesistants, and collaborators, uncovering not only paintings but the stories of Rose’s heroism, and the truth behind a devastating family secret.

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Angelology ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Susan Denaker
17 discs

When twenty-three-year-old Sister Evangeline accidentally stumbles upon some mysterious letters exchanged between the late mother superior of her convent and the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller, she is thrust into an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

Note: It started out well with good character development, a  good plot, and a firm storyline – but somehow, somewhere it turned into a melodrama.  What could have been 4 out of 5 hearts sadly became 3.  Too bad.  Susan Denaker is an excellent narrator though.  I’m impressed with her abilities and hope to find her work again soon.

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The Birth of Venus ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Kathe Mazur

11 discs

In the declining years of the rule of the Medici over Renaissance Florence, an atmosphere of enlightenment and sophistication prevailed; gorgeous art, relaxed mores, and intellectual freedom were the order of the day. But the puritan ideologue Savonarola began to exert ever more control over the city, and was turning it, bit by bit, into a totalitarian theocratic city-state, burning art and banning books with abandon. It is in this atmosphere that Alessandra, an unusually educated woman, must make the choices of her life: a marriage of convenience to her brother’s homosexual lover and a dangerous fascination with the intense, mystical painter who comes to decorate her parents’ chapel. As the world becomes increasingly unsafe for her, she must choose her own path and retain her own individuality.

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