Stealing the Mystic Lamb
The True Story of the World's Most Coveted Masterpiece
The gripping, six-century history of the world's most frequently stolen masterpiece, as told by Noah Charney, whom the New York Times Magazine called a pioneer in "apply[ing] to art thefts the techniques of criminal profiling."
Jan van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece is on any art historian's list of the ten most important paintings ever made. Often referred to by the subject of its central panel, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, it represents the fulcrum between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also the most frequently stolen artwork of all time.
Since its completion in 1432, this twelve-panel oil painting has been looted in three different wars, burned, dismembered, forged, smuggled, illegally sold, censored, hidden, attacked by iconoclasts, hunted by the Nazis and Napoleon, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, rescued by Austrian double-agents, and stolen a total of thirteen times.
In this fast-paced, real-life thriller, art historian Noah Charney unravels the stories of each of these thefts. In the process, he illuminates the whole fascinating history of art crime and the psychological, ideological, religious, political, and social motivations that have led many men to covet this one masterpiece above all others.
"Nelson’s forceful delivery demands attention to every word, taking on the format of a history lecture for those wearing earphones." —AudioFile
"A brisk tale of true-life heroism, villainy, artistry and passion." —Kirkus
About the Author - Noah Charney
Noah Charney is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Art Thief and the founding director of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, an international nonprofit think tank. His work in the field of art crime has been praised in such forums as the New York Times Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, BBC Radio, and NPR. Currently a professor of art history at the American University of Rome, he lives in Italy with his wife.
About the Narrator - John Allen Nelson
John Allen Nelson's critically acclaimed roles on television's 24 and Vanished are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of Zoo Story by Thomas French.