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Imagined Lives: Portraits of unknown people

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  59 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Published on the occasion of a new display at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 3 December - August 2012.

Eight internationally acclaimed authors have invented imaginary biographies and character sketches based on fourteen unidentified portraits.

Who are these men and women, why were they painted, and why do they now find themselves in the Collection of the National
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by National Portrait Gallery (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Gerry
Mar 02, 2015 Gerry rated it it was amazing
When the fourteen 16th and 17th century works of art within these covers were first purchased or acquired by the National Portrait Gallery between 1858 and 1971 they were all identified as being known sitters for portraits. For instance, there was supposedly Mary, Queen of Scots, the traitor John Howard and the poet William Drummond amongst others. However, each one has since been disproved or disputed. As such the portraits were removed from the permanent displays at the NPG and placed in the a ...more
Jane
Jun 12, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing
This is a book to accompany an exhibition of the same name held at the National Portrait Gallery in London and I read it on the train coming home from seeing the portraits in situ. The exhibition, and book, features 14 portraits painted between around 1520 and 1640 who are now believed not to be who they were bought as by the National Portrait Gallery. Eight authors have imagined the stories behind these paintings. Some are written as encyclopaedia style entries, some as letters, others as very ...more
Michele
Jan 22, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it
A fascinating collection of short stories based on portraits of unknown men and women held at the National Portrait Gallery. My only complaint is that some of the tales were TOO short - I got to the end and wanted more!
Nico Bi
Feb 09, 2014 Nico Bi rated it it was amazing
A delightful reading indeed. Favorite story: Rosy.
Amy F
Dec 07, 2013 Amy F rated it it was amazing
This was such a cool book - short stories by various authors inspired by portraits of unknown people. If you've ever been to a museum and thought "I wonder what their life was like" this is the perfect book for you. Also has a bit of back story on the paintings themselves. Great book
Lee
Jul 13, 2015 Lee rated it it was amazing
Interesting. I picked it up to read the two offerings by Tracy Chevalier. I was not disappointed. I read it in little snippets at a time.
Sarah
Sep 19, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
This was super slim, knocked it out in a morning train ride, but I love the concept and wish there was more... could be a great website.
Krista
Jun 06, 2012 Krista rated it really liked it
I will never overlook an 'unnamed' portrait again.
Jane Hill
Jul 01, 2012 Jane Hill rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A clever idea, and very well-executed.
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