Philippe Daverio is one of Italy's most important contemporary art
historians, whose discerning comments about art are voraciously
consumed by the public through his writing as editor of the famed
magazine Art e Dossier and his platform on a leading Italian
television program Passepartout. Now, in his first full-length work
of narrative nonfiction, Daverio uses the conceit of creating his
own perfect museum gallery and in the process reexamines major
artistic masterpieces of Western art. Daverio turns his critical
eye on the place of Western art in contemporary
twenty-first-century culture and how we relate to art generally.
According to Daverio, we relate to the history of art based on
views that crystallized in the nineteenth century, and so we look
to the past to understand the present, though the present is what
truly matters to everyone. Daverio means to challenge this
perspective, and guided by his curiosity and personal taste, he
examines key masterworks to rediscover the true meaning and power
they had before they became commoditized and cliched.
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