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Description - The Optickal Illusion by Rachel Halliburton

'An assured and enjoyable debut that asks some uncomfortable questions about women's erasure from the history of art' The Times A provocative story of envy, lust and corruption... In this vividly fashioned debut, Rachel Halliburton draws from the seamy details of a genuine scandal that deceived the British Royal Academy. Halliburton's accomplished novel deftly weaves together strands of history and lucidly conjures a fickle art world in which the thirst for acclaim can be calamitous. It is 1797 and in London, nothing is certain anymore: the future of the monarchy is in question, the city is aflame with conspiracies, and the French could invade any day. Amidst this feverish atmosphere, the American painter Benjamin West is visited by a dubious duo comprised of a blundering father and vibrant daughter, the Provises, who claim they have a secret that has obsessed painters for centuries: the Venetian techniques of master painter Titian. West was once the most celebrated painter in London, but he hasn't produced anything of note in years, so against his better judgment he agrees to let the intriguing Ann Jemima Provis visit his studio and demonstrate what she knows. What unravels reveals more than West has ever understood about himself, the treachery of the art world, and the seductive promise of greatness. Rich in period detail of Georgian society, The Optickal Illusion demonstrates the lengths women must go to make their mark on a world that seeks to underplay their abilities. AUTHOR: Rachel Halliburton read English and Classics from Cambridge. As a journalist she has written for The Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Evening Standard and the Independent. She lives in London.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780715651971
ISBN-10: 0715651978
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 160mm x mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Duckworth
Publisher: Prelude
Publish Date: 8-Feb-2018
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Rachel Halliburton

RACHEL HALLIBURTON graduated in English and Classics from Cambridge. As a journalist and the former Deputy Editor of Time Out she has interviewed notable people including Gorbachev, Yoko Ono and Kissinger for publications such as the Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Evening Standard and the Independent. She lives in London.

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