"England 1899, and Titian has come to London. So have Giorgione, Bellini, Tintoretto and a galaxy of other great artists in a major exhibition of Venetian paintings. New World money and prices are coming to London too, as American nouveaux riches millionaries bid to carry off many of the Old Masters across the Atlantic. The excitement is intense." "Then shortly after the exhibition opens a leading art critic, Christopher Montague, is found murdered, garrotted in his study. Lord Francis Powerscourt, the discreet society investigator called upon to look into the case, soon discovers that in the weeks before his death Montague had been working on a story that could have destroyed te exhibition and rocked the London art world to its foundations. Most of the Venetian paintings, according to Montague, were fakes and some of the alleged Old Masters were in fact, brilliant - and recent - forgeries." "Powerscourt embarks on an odyssey through the treacherous world of art dealers and picture restorers in pursuit of a master forger and a murderer. His quest takes him and Lady Lucy to a sunbaked and sinister Corsica, with its traditions of violence and blood feuds, and then back to England, to a remote Jacobean mansion in Norfolk. When the police put the wrong man on trial for his life it is up to Powerscourt, at the eleventh hour, to prove what really happened in this death of an Old Master."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In Death of an Old Master, it is Titian and a host of other Renaissance painters that command the attention of author David Dickinson and his discreet society investigator Lord Powerscourt. The celebrated 1899 exhibition of Venetian paintings has just opened in London when a leading art critic, Christopher Montague, is found murdered—garroted, to be precise—in his study. Powerscourt turns up a motive soon enough. For Montague would surely have closed the exhibition and rocked the London art world to its foundations, if he had published his article alleging that the work of the Old Masters on display (and on sale for fortunes in American dollars) were in fact brilliantly, and recently, executed forgeries. In search of his suspect, Powerscourt traverses a treacherous world of art dealers and picture restorers in London and on the continent before arriving in sun-baked, sinister Corsica. There perils mount, but Powerscourt has barely begun to scrape the paint off the murderous secrets hidden in the canvases of the Old Masters.