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By Stanley Mazaroff
In 1857, George A. Lucas, a young Baltimorean, arrived in Paris. There, he established an extensive personal network of celebrated artists and art dealers, becoming the quintessential French connection for American collectors. The most remarkable thing about Lucas was not the art that he acquired for his clients (who included William and Henry Walters, the founders of the Walters Art Museum, and John Taylor Johnston, the founding president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) but the massive collection of 18,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and etchings, as well as 1,500 books, journals, and other sources about French artists, that he acquired for himself. Paintings by Cabanel, Corot, and Daubigny, prints by Whistler, Manet, and Cassatt, and portfolios of information about hundreds of French artists filled his apartment and spilled into the adjacent flat of his mistress. A Paris Life, A Baltimore Treasure is a richly illustrated portrayal of Lucas's fascinating life as an agent, connoisseur, and collector of French mid-nineteenth-century art.
Stanley Mazaroff is an independent art historian and the author of Henry Walters and Bernard Berenson: Collector and Connoisseur. Recognized annually in The Best Lawyers in America, Mazaroff retired from the active practice of law in 2003 to study art history at Johns Hopkins University.