Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters

Front Cover
Viking Studio, 2001 - Art - 296 pages
"Come with David Hockney on a journey as he rewrites the story of how the masterpieces of Western art were created." "It was after a chance observation in London's National Gallery that Hockney became gripped by a desire to find out how the artists of the past managed to depict the world so accurately and vividly. As a painter constantly faced with similar technical problems, he asked himself: "How did they do this?" He set aside his brushes, stopped painting and, for the next two years, sacrificed his own time as an artist to follow this mystery trail, obsessively tracking down the hidden secrets of the Old Masters." "Now, Hockney recounts the story of his quest as it unfolded. He explains how he uncovered piece after piece of scientific and visual evidence, each one yielding further revelations about the past." "Hundreds of paintings and drawings - among them the best known and best loved works in the history of Western art - are reproduced and accompanied by Hockney's close, passionate and accessible decriptions. His own photographs and drawing illustrate the various methods used by past artists to capture accurate likenesses and present the results they would have achieved. In addition, extracts from the many historical and modern documents that he uncovered offer further intriguing evidence while correspondence between him and an array of international experts provides an exciting account of the remarkable story as it happened."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hcubic - LibraryThing

I first wrote about the controversial thesis of this book back in January of 2000, when my "Pick" was an article about David Hockney by Lawrence Wechler in the New Yorker. With the publication of this ... Read full review

Interesting subject beautiful book

User Review  - af13 -

This book is a fascinating read on David Hockneys research on techniques used by the old masters of painting. The book is beautifully produced with rich full page images of the paintings in question ... Read full review


the visual evidence
the textual evidence

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

David Hockney was born in England in 1937 and studied at the Royal College of Art. He achieved international acclaim by his mid-twenties as part of the pop art movement and has gone on to become one of the best known artists of his generation. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic information