Part memoir, part essay and wholly Art History (specifically about being an "Eye". Considered an anathema by by some within the discipline of Art History there is a rarer breed of specialist called "Eyes". People who have attained all the necessary knowledge but also possess a rarer talent of Discernment; being able to verify (often at glance ) authenticity of art works. This book is a memoir of masterpieces, forgeries, money and the mystery of what makes art; Art. This book is passionate and marvelous. This book is for anyone who loved The Hare with Amber Eyes, The Rape of Europa or The Monuments Men.— Maeve Noonan
"Exhilarating and informative ... Mr. Costamagna is catholic in his enthusiasm and is open to the new. He tells delicious stories."
--The Wall Street Journal
It's a rare and secret profession, comprising a few dozen people around the world equipped with a mysterious mixture of knowledge and innate sensibility. Summoned to Swiss bank vaults, Fifth Avenue apartments, and Tokyo storerooms, they are entrusted by collectors, dealers, and museums to decide if a coveted picture is real or fake and to determine if it was painted by Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael. The Eye lifts the veil on the rarified world of connoisseurs devoted to the authentication and discovery of Old Master artworks. This is an art adventure story and a memoir all in one, written by a leading expert on the Renaissance whose m tier is a high-stakes detective game involving massive amounts of money and frenetic activity in the service of the art market and scholarship alike. It's also an eloquent argument for the enduring value of visual creativity, told with passion, brilliance, and surprising candor.