Secret Knowledge

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"Come with David Hockney on a journey as he rewrites the story of how the masterpieces of Western art were created." "It was after a chance observation in London's National Gallery that Hockney became gripped by a desire to find out how the artists of the past managed to depict the world so accurately and vividly. As a painter constantly faced with similar technical problems, he asked himself: "How did they do this?" He set aside his brushes, stopped painting and, for the next two years, sacrificed his own time as an artist to follow this mystery ...
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Overview

"Come with David Hockney on a journey as he rewrites the story of how the masterpieces of Western art were created." "It was after a chance observation in London's National Gallery that Hockney became gripped by a desire to find out how the artists of the past managed to depict the world so accurately and vividly. As a painter constantly faced with similar technical problems, he asked himself: "How did they do this?" He set aside his brushes, stopped painting and, for the next two years, sacrificed his own time as an artist to follow this mystery trail, obsessively tracking down the hidden secrets of the Old Masters." "Now, Hockney recounts the story of his quest as it unfolded. He explains how he uncovered piece after piece of scientific and visual evidence, each one yielding further revelations about the past." Hundreds of paintings and drawings - among them the best known and best loved works in the history of Western art - are reproduced and accompanied by Hockney's close, passionate and accessible decriptions. His own photographs and drawing illustrate the various methods used by past artists to capture accurate likenesses and present the results they would have achieved. In addition, extracts from the many historical and modern documents that he uncovered offer further intriguing evidence while correspondence between him and an array of international experts provides an exciting account of the remarkable story as it happened.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"How was this done?" This single question launched world-famous artist David Hockney on a two-year search for answers. Sacrificing easel time, Hockney performed unprecedented research on the actual artistic techniques and procedures of old masters such as Caravaggio, da Vinci, and Velázquez. The results of his findings have surprised experts and outraged museum directors. Secret Knowledge is one of the most exciting art books in decades -- and one of the best detective stories in years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670030262
  • Publisher: Studio
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    worth it at twice the price

    david hockney brings together a group of ideas that together show how western art took on its "photographic" appearance centuries before the camera. to all the complainers who say much is untested - this is the big idea that will take a century to test and research. buy, read and enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2002

    Not as good as you would think

    The author gives us the 'revelation' that many of the Old Masters used projections to make their paintings realistic. This is old news. Artists have used gridlines for years and today use projecions to help make their works. He seems to enjoy showing that the Old Masters use projections for so much of their work. While the author has done much research, he also goes far beyond logical deductions and speculates a great deal. For example: certain paintings have the body proportionately larger than the head. This 'proves' his point. Yet even today portrait artists will do the head and face from life and the rest later. And back in those times clothing was a symbol of status just as it is today, so important men wore big clothes! I would not buy this book. In my opinion it is expensive and does nothing to help you appreciate art.

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