Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World's Most Stolen Masterpiece

Author(s): Noah Charney


From the author of the bestselling novel "The Art Thief", this gripping true-crime thriller traces the gripping, six-century history of the world's most-stolen masterpiece. Jan van Eyck's "Ghent Altarpiece" is on any art historian's list of the ten most important paintings ever made. 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, 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, acclaimed art historian Noah Charney unravels the fascinating stories of each of these crimes. Charney also explores psychological dramas that lurk within the history of art crime - and the ideological, religious, political and social motivations that have led many men to covet this one masterpiece above all others.


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"A fast-paced and readable history of (The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb)... this is an intriguing blend of reportage and art history, providing what is in effect a remarkable 'biography' of this beautiful and tough survivor." (Sunday Times) "Charney's wonderfully learned and entertaining book tells us about the indignities this famous image has endured through the centuries." (Catholic Herald)"

Noah Charney is the author of the bestselling novel The Art Thief, and the founding director of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA), an international non-profit think tank. Currently professor of art history at the American University of Rome, he lives in Italy with his wife.

General Fields

  • : 9781610390965
  • : The Perseus Books Group
  • : PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • : April 2012
  • : 235mm X 156mm X 30mm
  • : United States
  • : April 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Noah Charney
  • : Hardback
  • : 709.024
  • : 336
  • : 8pp colour insert