Manual Arts and Wonders

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You might say he has spent his whole life making and remaking accounts of himself, diligently revising his achievements and prospects for maximum effect and maximum gain.


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This one is his last testament, his first wholly truthful account, to be left behind when he steps through the second of those constant gates. He describes his birth, which killed his mother and ruined his father; the discovery of his talent; his first apprenticeship, to Arcimboldo, painter "of beasts and fishes and firebrands that combine to resemble a man".

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Arts and Wonders

Arcimboldo dies; a second master bullies and abuses him. To Prague, then, where he waits to be noticed by the emperor.

September, 8, 2005 - November, 20, 2005

The wait proving tedious and unremunerative, he turns to forgery, producing treasures on demand for gullible collectors. Arrested in a bungled robbery at the palace, he escapes to Nuremberg, where, in a pub, he chances to overhear a local dealer being quizzed by a wealthy young foreigner.

Who should it be but Albrecht, Marquis of Felsengrunde, in a false beard! Bored, ambitious, Albrecht is a student prince voracious for paintings, prints, sculptures, antiquities, automata - anything, in fact, that will bring a spot of culture and sophistication to his dreary rustic inheritance, "a mountainous scab on Bavaria's rump".

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Nov 04, Sorcha rated it liked it Shelves: This story follows Tommaso Grilli, dwarf and talented art forger, from his unhappy beginnings in Renaissance Florence to the German Dukedom of Felsengrunde. There as curator and "creator" of a fantastical Library of Arts, he makes himself indispensable to the impoverished duke Jan 03, Anelia Korueva rated it it was ok.


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Andrej rated it really liked it Jul 29, David Gutteling rated it really liked it Oct 09, Georgina rated it liked it May 31, Aleksandra rated it really liked it Sep 17, AM Lyvers rated it it was ok Feb 08, Liviu rated it it was amazing Nov 27, Cat Aquino rated it liked it Sep 13, David Llewellyn rated it really liked it May 24, Olivera rated it it was amazing Feb 02, Marko Kostadinovic rated it liked it Apr 28, Zara rated it did not like it Sep 21, Brendan Ashbrook rated it it was amazing Jun 08, Nicole rated it really liked it Dec 27, James Frost rated it it was amazing Oct 16, Elena rated it it was amazing Feb 10, George rated it liked it Feb 16, Maker - Caspar Spitz Bronze, brass; gilding.

These rulers were admires and collectors of exotic, unusual and rare things, brought from far exotic countries opr executed in European lands.

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Geography of their origin is wide: They both ruled as an Austrian dynasty kings in Hungary and Bohemia, archdukes in Austria etc. The Habsburg Cabinets of Arts and Wonders preserved items, brought from many corners of the world by Spanish and Portuguese missioners and conquerors, who became discoverers. Every new acquisition widened their idea of the world.