Rembrandt's Monkey: And Other Tales from the Secret Lives of the Great Artists

Alexandra Connor, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (198p) ISBN 978-0-312-06004-6
With the suggestion that art is boring if taken seriously, Connor assembles this flip, cliche-ridden collection of anecdotes about artists, their families, their subjects and patrons. Artistic achievements are peripheral in this chronicle of Leonardo's homosexuality, Fra Filippo Lippi's sensuality, Caravaggio's criminal tendencies, among other examples of eccentric behavior. Depicting the art world as a place of misfits and neurotics, the British author, a onetime model, artist and art historian, degrades her subjects and perpetuates a number of myths in reaching for the sensational effect. There are numerous art-history studies that give more accurate and entertaining accounts of the artistic temperament than this sophomoric tome. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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