“Mark Lamster is a brave writer,” raves the Los Angles Times. “His affection for his subject [Peter Paul Rubens] is so complete—and completely convincing—his style is so gracefully unpretentious and his research is so thorough that Master of Shadows manages to be engaging, instructive and thought-provoking, all at once.”
The review continues, “Lamster’s contribution is to demonstrate so clearly the interplay between Rubens’ diplomatic assignments and many of his important painterly commissions, a conjunction whose force in his career was much more consequential than other accounts of his life have allowed…. Lamster does a nicely clear-headed job of sorting out the tangled politics of the low countries during what was a violently fraught and dynamic era. His history is judiciously free of judgments, something that’s a bit of a feat when you’re dealing with heroic regimes — at least by contemporary standards—such as the embryonic Dutch Republic and one of history’s stock bad guys, Counter-Reformation Spain (with its fondness for a particularly authoritarian Catholicism backed up by the Inquisition). As he emerges in Lamster’s account, Rubens manages to be simultaneously the man of the Spanish Court—and entirely his own.”
To learn more about the book, visit the author’s blog.