Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Clara and André Malraux

Open Road Media
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One of the greatest art theft stories of the 20th century: André Malraux, French novelist, art theorist, and eventually France’s Minister of Cultural Affairs, and his wife, Clara, traveled to Cambodia in 1923, planning to steal and smuggle artifacts out of the country and sell them in America. The Cambodian treasure hunt promised to be a mix of cultural sleuthing for important antiquities and risk-taking on the fuzzy edge of the laws that governed historical sites. The jungle expedition ended in arrest and, for André, trial and conviction. But it also led to a second Asian venture: the launching of a Saigon newspaper, L’Indochine, dedicated to the aspirations of the indigenous population. Madsen follows the couple from this fateful adventure that so shaped their future to the end of their marriage, and after.

 
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About the author

Axel Madsen authored twenty-two books, including sixteen biographies. His most notable works include an in-depth look at the life of a legendary fashion icon, Chanel: A Woman of Her Own, and an investigation of the relationship between Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy, Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy. Madsen began his journalism career as a legman for columnist Art Buchwald in Paris, and later wrote one of the first books on television’s longest-running news magazine show, 60 Minutes: The Power and the Politics of America’s Most Popular TV News Show. As a 20th Century Fox publicist, he handled Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and George C. Scott, and was fired off Myra Breckinridge for siding with director Mike Sarne against producer Robert Fryer. His Hollywood biographies include the life stories of directors William Wyler, John Huston, and Barbara Stanwyck, as well as an examination of Golden Age Hollywood’s gay underground in The Sewing Circle. He wrote and produced the ITV documentary version of The Sewing Circle. Over the years, Madsen interviewed scores of movers and shakers, from legends like Goldwyn and Selznick to directors like Howard Hawks, Louis Milestone, and Rouben Mamoulian. Madsen died in 2007.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 17, 2015
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781504008549
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Asian / General
Art / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Women
History / Asia / India & South Asia
History / Europe / France
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The spellbinding story, part fairy tale, part suspense, of Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, one of the most emblematic portraits of its time; of the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish salon hostess who sat for it; the notorious artist who painted it; the now vanished turn-of-the-century Vienna that shaped it; and the strange twisted fate that befell it.
 
The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait.
 
Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for The Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron.
 
The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their feminine “nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper.
 
And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours.
 
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A riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, the Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.
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