Rendez-Vous with Art

Rendez-vous with Art

  1. Philippe de Montebello
  2. Martin Gayford
  • ISBN 9780500239247
  • 22.90 x 15.20 cm
  • Hardback
  • 248pp
  • 75 Illustrations, 75 in colour
  • First published 2014

Beginning with a fragment of yellow jasper – more enigmatic even than the Mona Lisa – this book confronts the elusive questions: how, and why, do we look at art? The distinguished authors convey, with subtlety and brilliance, the delights and significance of their subject matter – some of the greatest creations of human beings

‘Once you experience art the way de Montebello does, you will never look at a painting, a sculpture, or even a museum visit the same way’ – Michael Levin, Huffington Post
‘Imagine taking a stroll round a few of high culture’s most famous sights with the former head of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This is the pleasure that 'Rendez-vous with Art' offers … the reader looks at a selection of national treasures – all well illustrated – through the idiosyncratic lens of an aficionado who brings not just his knowledge but also his character, his museological experiences and his memories to bear on their meanings’– House & Garden

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Rendez-Vous with Art

Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for thirty-one years, and art critic Martin Gayford talked in art galleries, churches and museums, and their book is structured around their journeys. Whether they were in the Louvre or the Prado or the Pitti, they reveal the pleasures of truly looking at works of art – as well as some of the pitfalls.

This is neither a work of art history nor of criticism – though it touches on aspects of both. Nor is it a conventional travel book, though the authors met on two continents and in six countries. Always their destination was some outstanding collection or individual work of art, and the resulting discussion started from what they saw. The result is highly unusual and very personal: a book about what it feels like to experience pictures and sculptures.

‘This is a book about how we experience art, how we look at it, how we think about it and its meaning in changing contexts. It’s not a book about the Met, or even about museums in general, though museums, the containers, play a big part in it. The subject is more the contents, works of art.’ – Philippe de Montebello

‘We had conversations in churches, art galleries, restaurants, and each other’s homes. The Louvre, the Prado and the Palazzo Pitti; we chatted in a quiet café near Rotterdam docks, a house in Cambridge and a crowded tapas bar in the centre of Madrid. We started in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, one brilliantly sunny day...’ – Martin Gayford