|About the Book|
During the 1930s Sir Denis Mahon began to buy seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Italian paintings, works that were out of fashion and available for relatively small sums. Adding to his collection until the 1970s, Mahon purchased masterpieces byMoreDuring the 1930s Sir Denis Mahon began to buy seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Italian paintings, works that were out of fashion and available for relatively small sums. Adding to his collection until the 1970s, Mahon purchased masterpieces by Guercino, Guido Reni, Domenichino, and Annibale Carracci- a superb group of works by Luca Giordano, Pietro da Cortona, Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, and Giuseppe Maria Crespi- and a large number of drawings by Guercino. Today Mahons Italian Baroque collection is recognized as one of the most impressive in the world and is the finest formed in Britain in this century. This gorgeous book for the first time fully catalogues all 79 paintings Mahon acquired, with a full color illustration of each. Thirty Guercino drawings are also discussed and illustrated.The book and the exhibition it accompanies celebrate Sir Denis Mahons achievements as scholar, collector, and man of extraordinary public spirit. The books introduction assesses the fundamental role Mahon played in raising the status of seicento painting in Britain, where it had been viewed mainly with scorn since the latter half of the nineteenth century. Through writings in which he rigorously examined the theoretical foundations of Baroque style and their relation to artistic practice, and through several groundbreaking exhibitions, Mahon changed perceptions of Italian Baroque art. He was also influential as a trustee of the National Gallery in London from 1957 to 1973, encouraging outstanding acquisitions by such artists as Caravaggio, Poussin, Tiepolo, and Degas.