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20 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0671610996 / ISBN 13: 9780671610999
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1986
From MARK POST, BOOKSELLER (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since February 20, 1998

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Masterpiece

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hard Cover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition, First printing

About this title


One of the world's finest art treasures, a beautiful, sensual nude portrait by the Spanish master Diego Velazquez, is uexpectedly put up for auction. The art world reacts greedily. Every major museum and the wealthiest and stealthiest private collectors passionately want the painting, the last truly great one by the master in private hands. Even the Soviets are conspiring to acquire it. This brings the CIA and the U.S. National Security Agency into the plots and counterplots. The Mafia and a mysterious Sicilian nobleman hold hidden cards. Some who wish to possess the beautiful Marchesa, it appears, will stop at nothing. Two of the contenders are the dashing director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., who yearns to run the Metropolitan, and an ambitious and attractive young woman, the Metropolitan's acting director, who sees the acquisition as a means of furthering her career and securing the job of director (something some of her own board members want to deny her). The two are deeply suspicious of each other. They meet in Paris two weeks before the sale. As they vigorously compete for the masterpiece, they find themselves falling in love; they try to keep their personal and professional lives separate -- with fascinating results.

From Library Journal:

Imagine the excitement in the art world when an old British noble is about to auction off the family's famed Velasquez, a portrait of the artist's naked mistress. Private collectors and museums vie to own it, with Washington's National Gallery and New York's Metropolitan emerging as the strongest contenders. That the two principals are vying for the Met's top job and also happen to become lovers are titillating complications. Hoving, former Met director and current editor of Connoisseur ,pulls together politics, crime, and commerce as the greed of profiteers and the lust of collectors ripen into artful scams. On occasion, imagination outstrips technique. The main characters hover at the edge of credibility. The heroine, like Wonder Woman, whips into a new persona. A courtly dwarf uses electronic powers to pry out every secret. The hero is fabulously wealthy, capable, romantic, and also an undercover agent. But these are forgivable flaws in this lavish and exuberant romp through the gilt-edged world of patrons and proteges. Barbara Conaty, Medical Coll. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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