"Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst; here, though, he heads fearlessly off into the realm of art theory, using the theft [of the Mona Lisa] as a neat springboard for reflections on why we look at art and what we see, or don't see - when we do." The Observer "Leader constructs his book like a psychoanalytic detective story: ostensibly interested in the case of her disappearance, it is the deeper implications that are his real quarry." The Sunday Independent "It's intelligent and witty and has cracking good anecdotes...it can tell you things about art you had never thought of." Evening Standard "[Leader] nimbly anticipates each sneer and objection, leaping in to show the way to some new and provoking thought." The Daily Telegraph "Fresh and interesting...packed with interesting stories and questions." The Independent"Vom Verlag:
Art is more about what isn't than what is, as popular psychologist Darian Leader reconsiders art history in a very particular--and refreshing--way. When the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, it was twenty-four hours before anyone noticed it was missing. Afterward, countless people flocked to see the empty space where it had once been on display. What could have drawn these crowds to stare at a blank wall? Many of them had never seen the painting in the first place. Can this tell us something about why we look at art, why artists create it, and why it has to be so expensive? Taking this story as his starting point, Darian Leader explores the psychology of looking at paintings and sculpture. He combines anecdote, observation, and analysis with examples taken from classical and contemporary art. This is a book about why we look at art, and what, indeed, we might be hoping to find.
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