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In Search of a Masterpiece

An Art Lover's Guide to Great Britain and Ireland

Christopher Lloyd


An expert guide to the highlights and unexpected treasures of British collections


In Search of a Masterpiece is a personal selection of paintings that Christopher Lloyd has come across and enjoyed in public collections during the course of his career, and its purpose is to encourage others to visit galleries and museums and enjoy the same and further pleasures.

The search begins in London, but very much lies further afield, including some surprises and many pictures of marvellous quality: a learned and enthusiastic guide, Christopher Lloyd leads us through the regions of England and on to Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Throughout, short outlines are given of the history of the museums and galleries from which the selection is made. In the course of the journey he introduces 266 paintings by a host of artists from different centuries and countries, from c.1300 to the present day. Some of the works are world-famous, while others are exciting discoveries that a visitor might well miss. Each entry includes an account of the artist.

In Search of a Masterpiece can be enjoyed at home or in a museum, in the company of the chosen pictures. Throughout, Christopher Lloyd's intention is to share the thrill of expectation and sheer visual pleasure that he experiences whenever he walks into a gallery full of pictures.

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'A tremendously good idea, very well done … a masterpiece of concision'
Times Literary Supplement

'Enthusiasm, charm, wit, elegant style and an unerring eye … 'In Search of a Masterpiece' is, itself, a very quiet, very British masterpiece'
Judith Flanders, Daily Telegraph

'Exactly the companion you would wish to take with you on a museum crawl: knowledgeable, urbane and discreetly impatient with dense art-historical lingo'
Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

'An inspiring selection … Beautifully crafted, unobtrusively erudite, generously detailed without ever losing sight of the picture itself, these essays are models of art-historical writing and a sustained pleasure to read'
The Art Newspaper

'His comments are dry and pithy, his one-liners are sharp … this is an achievement few could match … Dr Lloyd’s selections will delight, and will send the reader back, refreshed, to our great national and regional collections'
Country Life

'This valuable guide could end up paying for itself, as you discover essential works in almost every major town or city'
Artists & Illustrators

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 24.6 x 18.6 cm

Extent: 496 pp

Illustrations: 273

Publication date: 26 April 2011

ISBN: 9780500238844

Contents List

Introduction • PART1: SETTING OUT London • PART 2: ON THE ROAD The South-East • The South-West • The East Midlands • The West Midland • East Anglia • The North-East • The North-West • PART 3: SCOTLAND • PART 4: WALES • PART 5: IRELAND • Resources

About the Author

Christopher Lloyd worked in the Department of Western Art of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford from 1968 to 1988, combining curatorial duties with teaching. During that time he was appointed by Harvard University to a Fellowship at Villa I Tatti in Florence and was Visiting Research Curator of Early Italian Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was appointed Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures in the British Royal Collection in 1988 and retired from that post in 2005. He is now engaged in writing and organizing exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects. His publications include monographs on painters, catalogues of museum collections and surveys of the Royal Collection, as well as In Search of a Masterpiece: An Art Lover’s Guide to Great Britain and Ireland, Edgar Degas: Drawings and Pastels and Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolours, all published by Thames & Hudson.

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