Just out from Bloomsbury, Cynthia Carr's bio of essential artist / writer David Wojnarowicz takes its name from his work censored at the Hide/Seek exhibit, Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz [Kindle]. PW chose it as a Pick of the Week, writing "In this lucidly composed, skillfully contextualized first complete biography of David Wojnarowicz, former Village Voice reporter Carr reveals how the controversial artist’s life experience shaped his art and politics. Tracing his early life as a withdrawn, unstable student, sometime hustler, and store clerk in the troubled New York of the late 1960s and early ’70s, Carr reveals the artist’s struggle to express his emerging gay identity and the violent intensity of his family life."
The NYT says, "Ms. Carr’s biography is both sympathetic and compendious; it’s also a many-angled account of the downtown art world of the 1980s... The author braids small, unlikely narratives among the large ones. There’s an account of the art store clerk who gave away free supplies to poor artists he admired, and one of Redden’s, the sole funeral home in Manhattan that would accept AIDS patients in the early days of the crisis, winning the loyalty of many gay men. Ms. Carr, by lining Wojnarowicz in her sights, has seized upon a vivid and peculiarly American story."
The knowing cover photo is by friend and mentor Peter Hujar, whom David called "the parent I never had," except they did sleep together. See Peter's nsfw portrait of David's nude handwork.
Born in York in 1858, Henry Scott Tuke grew up in Falmouth where he discovered the pleasures of nude swimming that become the core subject of his en plein air paintings until his death at 70 in 1929. Moving to London when he was sixteen to attend art school, he graduated six years later, then toured Italy and Paris. His friends and acquaintances of the time included Symonds, Wilde, and Sargent (whose many, secret paintings of male nudes were numerous enough to fill this book). But by 1886 Tuke was back near Falmouth, spending £40 to buy a two-masted sailboat which he converted to a floating studio and living quarters. Initially the only models he could get to pose were from London but before long he and the local youth had become friends for life, though many of them died in WWI. An avid traveler, in the 1890s Tuke returned to Italy, adding Corfu and Albania to his list and a new, vibrant light to his palette. Later he ventured to the Caribbean and Central America, further brightening his colors. Nervous critics over-emphasize the innocence of his art, stressing that if anything the depictions are sensual not sexual, and making obvious comparisons to Eakins. Among Tuke's big collectors is Elton John. His work fills many books like Catching the Light.
Once and for all, Don Bachardy isn't just Christopher Isherwood's much younger partner. Look at his nuanced, revealing sketches of their famous friends. Among his oil paintings, Bachardy's official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown hangs in the California State Capitol. In the documentary Chris & Don. A Love Story he thoughtfully discusses his life as an artist and the power imbalances of a 30+ year relationship that began when he was southern California teenager and his new English bf in his late forties was already an international literary star. Still living in Santa Monica, today Bachardy turns 78. (This August Isherwood would have been 108.)
In an era when merely entering a gay bar could mean jail time and the instant end of a career, Tom of Finland was boldly visualizing a world of healthy, happy, all-male sexual camaraderie that was hot and had a sense of humor. Then again, his fantasies of hyperidealized, turboerotic, uberbuilt masculinity guaranteed that reality would never measure up. For generations of gay men since the mid-1950s, his art has created an endless coupling of inspiration and insecurity. Born in Kaarina, Finland in 1920, Touko Laaksonen moved to Helsinki when he was nineteen and soon was drafted to fight in World War II. Afterward, he worked in an advertising agency while American physique magazines began to publish his drawings of rugged lumberjacks, cops, jocks, sailors, soldiers, prisoners, lifeguards, musclemen, and his enduring character Kake. In 1973, at the time of his first gallery show, in Hamburg, he was able to quit his job to draw fulltime. His second gallery exhibit, in Los Angeles, was not until 1978, followed by shows in San Franciso and New York, where he became friends with another artist whose work explored gay S&M, Robert Mapplethorpe. In 1981, Veli, his partner of twenty-eight years, died; Laaksonen survived him by ten years. The Finnish Culture Institute hosted an exhibit of his work in Paris in 1999, and in 2004 MoMA added several of his drawings to their permanent collection. Taschen's gigantic, oversized Tom of Finland XXL runs almost 700 pages, contains nearly 1,000 images, and includes essays by John Waters, Camille Paglia, Armistead Maupin, and Todd Oldham.
Keith Haring’s graffiti-style art became iconic when he was in his mid-twenties. Instantly recognizable and associated with the 80s New York street scene, his work often featured short lines radiating out from exuberant figures rendered in black and white or bright, flat colors. A great believer in public art, particularly inspired by Christo’s Running Fence, Haring was invited to create murals in Japan, Australia, South America, and throughout Europe, notably on a western section of the Berlin Wall. In 1986, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, he painted a mural working with 900 children. Haring created art for many public health campaigns, including anti-drug posters and most famously a series of ads promoting safe sex that, like much of his work, was explicitly homoerotic. Yet his art was also playful and humorous, as when he painted Grace Jones' enormous skirt in Grace Jones' video I'm Not Perfect. See it all in the documentary, The Universe of Keith Haring or read his journals, reissued this year with previously unpublished drawings. He died of aids in 1990 at age thirty-one.
The painter Romaine Brooks lived with her husband, a gay man, for one year and stayed with her life partner, Natalie Barney, for more than half a century. Both strong-willed heiresses, they built a summer house together called the Hyphenated Villa (Villa Trait d’Union) and slept in separate wings with shared living space. Neither woman believed in monogamy. Brooks’ career as a portrait painter peaked from 1910 to 1925. Her subjects were often lesbians, including Elisabeth de Gramont; Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux; Renatta Borgatti; Elsie de Wolfe; Radclyffe Hall’s partner Una, Lady Troubridge; the painter Gluck; Natalie Barney of course; and her most frequent subject, her ex-girlfriend, Ida Rubinstein formerly of the Ballets Russes. An online gallery of her work can be seen here. Brooks completed many self-portraits, the best-known of which shows her in the men’s attire she favored. That painting hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Their website's biography of Brooks dwells on her family’s mental illness, then not only ignores her 50-plus years with Natalie Barney and avoids any mention of lesbians, but outrageously makes the claim that she “while resisting companionship, was the object of violent passions.” Brooks died at 96.
An abstract expressionist of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, Paul Wonner (1920-2008) maybe wasn't Diebenkorn but his early and middle works endure. Above are his Sarah Vaughn Singing (1963) and Woman with Flowers (1961). For more than fifty years he was partners with Theophilus Brown who, at 91, is said still to paint every day in San Francisco. In the 1960s they lived in Santa Monica and were friends with the locals, William Inge, Andre Previn, Isherwood and Bachardy, Eva Marie Saint and her husband. The Guggenheim, SFMoMA, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are among the many institutions that collect Wonner's work.
You think you got a big diary? A.C. Benson’s was bigger. Humungous, in fact. His lifelong journals stretched beyond four million words (or, five times more than Shakespeare's collected works), until his death in 1925. He taught at Cambridge and wrote a bestselling collection of essays called From a College Window, as well as many other books. Undoubtedly he is best remembered today not for his poetry but for writing the lyrics to the patriotic song Land of Hope and Glory. Benson was one of six children of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson; none of the children ever married and two of his brothers were also gay.
Born in Des Moines, graduated from a high school in Evansville, Indiana, Roy Halston Frowick had shed the Midwest along with his first and last names by the time he designed Jackie Kennedy’s iconic inauguration pillbox hat when he was twenty-nine. Soon after, he began designing clothes, which were standouts for their elegance and simplicity. As famous for his perpetual partying at Studio 54 as he was for his fashions, Halston was the first designer to understand the power of licensing his brand. His name appeared on everything from scarves to eyeglasses to perfume to the uniforms for airlines and rental car companies, yet because he was a perfectionist unable to delegate any designing to his staff, he cracked under enormous pressure. The firm that bought his company asked him to design a clothing line for J.C. Penney, and when he did so, Bergdorf’s stopped carrying his clothes and many longstanding clients decamped to other designers. Ultimately he was fired from his own company and legally barred from designing under his name. He left New York for San Francisco and died of aids in 1990.
Who’s that playing his guitar with a bow like a cello? And who sings the end credits song "Sticks and Stones" in How to Train Your Dragon? Why, it’s Jónsi, of course, the lead singer of that other Icelandic musical sensation, Sigur Rós. They followed the worldwide success of their 1999 post-rock album Ágætis byrjun, with 2002’s album called ( ), which was sung entirely in Vonlenska, or Hopelandic, a made-up language of nonsense syllables. Because it sounds similar to Icelandic, it’s an open question whether people in other parts of the world could tell any difference, but those fans would at least have noticed that the accompanying lyrics booklet was left blank for listeners to write their own meaning of the words. Sigur Rós’s songs have been used in movies by Greg Araki, Cameron Crowe, and Wes Anderson, as well as on numerous tv shows, and they’ve sold more than two million albums. Jónsi is 100% supergay and in 2009 released an album called Riceboy Sleeps with his boyfriend under the moniker Jónsi and Alex [Somers, an American]. He released his first solo album Go in 2010. Last year he reteamed with Cameron Crowe, scoring his feel-good family film We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon.
Today at last is the onsale of Christopher Simon Sykes' David Hockney: The Biography, which the Financial Times called "prodigiously entertaining."
A critic for the London Evening Standard wrote it is, "certainly the most moving and amusing account of the most popular British artist of the 20th century. David Hockney bounces along as the rebellious,eccentric, funny artist discovers sex, then London, and so on to fame and fortune, via California. Sykes elicits marvellous background details and anecdotes… The wit, energy and magical talent of Hockney to use whatever happens to him to his purpose and for humour are shown on almost every page.”
Fair warning: the book's 384 pages explore the painter's life only through 1975. The forthcoming volume two will cover the rest.
Hallelujah! After her recent headline-grabbing remarks about Elizabeth Taylor (superior to "painfully scrawny" Gwyneth, Annette, & Julianne) and Lady Gaga (inferior to Madonna, Bowie, Cher, & Theda Bara), this fall finally sees a new book from Camille Paglia, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars.
Although it's easy now to suppose a provocateur of such flair and rigor and self-described egomania would always find a platform, Paglia waited nine years to see the publication of her breakthrough book of cultural criticism, Sexual Personae. Five agents and seven publishers rejected it between 1981 and 1985 when Yale finally accepted it. They did not publish until five years later while Paglia taught, tweaked sections, and added new essays. The book sold moderately well before it was named a finalist for a National Book Award. When Vintage released the paperback in 1991, it became a tremendous bestseller and she became a star. Paglia appeared on dozens of talk shows and brought a volcanic pop intellectualism to a nation weaned on the prepackaged chipper inanities of morning television. Read her books Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990), Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays (1992), Vamps & Tramps: New Essays (1994), and Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems (2006). Accompanying Todd Oldham's photos, she wrote the text for a short book about the magazine duo Joseph Holtzman and Carl Skoggard's upstate retreat for artists, Camp Nest.
Driving around Los Angeles, David Hockney tells documentary filmmaker Bruno Wollheim that all gay men like California because people there are generally fit and wear fewer or tighter clothes. (And you, innocent lamb, thought he moved there for the light.) The director adds that those famous nude pool pictures gave the false impression that David lived some brilliantly debauched bacchanal, but in fact it was only the boys who partied all night; David missed out and was up early painting, while they napped in the early sun. Either way, you won't see any poolside performances because Hockney relocates back to his birthplace. There, he begins painting en plein air landscapes, giving the director a three-year shoot in shifty Yorkshire weather and a very different film than he envisioned. The canvases grow monumental but the movie stays a crisp 60 minutes. It makes clear that Hockney's handsome French assistant is also his boyfriend of more than fifteen years, but Jean-Pierre isn't interviewed. Of course the great joy is Hockney himself, who manages to be just as watchable when he's working silently as when he's holding forth about photography being dead and, later, back again. Caught in contradicting himself he simply tells the camera, "Never believe what an artist says." As he's made evident for fifty years, the truth is in seeing.
Friday night's one-time screening at Columbia's Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America was hosted by Rick Whitaker, author of The First Time I Met Frank O'Hara: Reading Gay American Writers and Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling.
Hockney fans unable to get to London before April 9 for the Royal Academy's retrospective can console themselves with the book David Hockney: A Bigger Picture. Three weeks from now is the American release of Christopher Simon Sykes' David Hockney: The Biography, one of my most anticipated books of the year.
In the early 20th century when Arrow had 94% of market share, much of the shirtmaker's success could be laid with illustrator J.C. Leyendecker -- he used his chiseled boyfriend as the model for the archetypal Arrow Collar Man. Born in Germany in 1874, Leyendecker moved with his family to Chicago when he was eight. He and his brother enrolled at the city's Art Institute before studying art nouveau at the Académie Julian in Paris. They returned to Chicago early in 1899 and by May Leyendecker received his first commission for a cover of the era's most famous magazine, The Saturday Evening Post. Throughout his career he would draw 321 more covers for them, creating the genre of "adorable" domestic chaos, stirring patriotism, family holidays, lovers' foibles, and youthful high spirits (with scrawny nudity) that today we associate with his Eve Harrington protege and successor Norman Rockwell. Leyendecker was slight and disliked confrontation; when his friends warned him Rockwell was stealing his style, he didn't protest. (Being a gay man and an immigrant in the early 20th century may also have amplified his instincts to avoid trouble.) One area in which he maintained preeminence was the blatant homoerotic. Leyendecker's men eternally give one another penetrating looks inside, outdoors, and on deck, and they're always thrusting elongated objects at happy angles from their bodies. He never met a muscle that didn't need to beef up, ripple, or glisten under his expert touch. As his biographers explain, “Neighboring artists shared models with the brothers, which meant a seemingly endless train of attractive Greenwich Village lads parading through their chilly studio in the buff.” One was named Charles Beach. He was 17 and Leyendecker was 28. By all accounts Beach was both hot and not, given to self aggrandizing claims that he did Leyendecker's work (despite not being able to draw), along with the more typical fits of jealousy, insecurity, and tyranny. Margo Channing Norman Rockwell complained he never heard Beach say anything intelligent and called him "stupid." Nevertheless, Leyendecker and Beach moved into a New Rochelle mansion together and threw luxe parties attended by the jazz age set including Scott and Zelda. Inevitably, times changed, the commissions dwindled, and the money ran out. They had to dismiss their staff yet they stayed together a total of 49 years, until Leyendecker's death in 1951 when he instructed his private papers be destroyed. For more, read J.C. Leyendecker.
Leyendecker's artist brother F.X. Leyendecker also had an eye for masculine muscle, as with this barechested blacksmith, and for strategically placed missiles between shirtless swabbies (compare below). He became addicted to drugs and killed himself at 47.
The first thing I did upon my return to New York this weekend was to travel back to Paris in 1903. The Met's amazing exhibit The Steins Collect showcases room after room of early works by Matisse, Picasso, and their contemporaries gathered by the Stein family. Although the museum continually hypes Michael's wife Sarah's contributions, it dismisses Alice Toklas in a single sentence that refers to her only as Gertrude's "companion." However, the lesbian couple's famous salon at 27 Rue du Fleurus is brought wonderfully to life in a large "room" created by three enormous screens on which are projected photos creating a time-lapse effect of how the art was displayed during the decades they lived there.
Predictably, the Met erases all the gay influences in the show, but thankfully you still have Wanda Corn and Tirza Latimer's book from their groundbreaking exhibit Seeing Gertrude Stein which specificly emphasized the queer content of Gertrude and Alice's collections. Some of their gay friends - Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Carl Van Vechten, Virgil Thomson, Pavel Tchelitchew, George Platt Lynes, Francis Rose, Frederick Ashton, Kristians Tonny - are in the Met show, including film clips from the black opera Four Saints in Three Acts. Unlike the Corn-Latimer show, the Met's description doesn't mention that choreographer Ashton had sex with at least two of the company's male principals. Degaying aside, you'll still love the art, particularly the works from private collections that you've never seen in person.
If you make it to the Met by Sunday, you'll also see Renaissance Portraits. Or, through the glory of the web, you can look at all 147 works online.
Did you know the two sailors in the READ MY LIPS ad have their pants open and are firmly at crossed swords? After the Furies appropriated the top half of the image and made it famous, one of the men called to say thank you. Such were the revelations Tuesday night when four members of the queer activist art collective Gran Fury discussed their work and legacy: from left, moderator Andrew Ross, with Robert Vasquez, Tom Kalin, Avrim Finkelstein, and Marlene McCarty. Several times they emphasized that their work was created when they were at war, it was made to be used in direct action, and the shopworn question "Is it Art?" was an artificial conversation. They reminded the audience that their famous Kissing Doesn't Kill, which you recall for its two same sex and one interracial kisses in the style of a Benetton ad, was "about saliva transferability," a "huge controversy at the time." Tom Kalin said aids absolutely brought on PTSD which he suggested was why the trio of aids documentaries needed until now:We Were Here, United in Anger, and How To Survive a Plague. Predictably, members of the panel differed on the role of social media; either they cited the importance of old school, non-virtual encounters or the success of the Arab Spring revolutions driven by Twitter and Facebook.
The NYU show of Gran Fury's work, on display at 80 WSE until March 17, is a must-see.
Not all the pieces are as successful as their best work, but I love couples creating together.
Born in Boston in 1836, Winslow Homer moved to Paris in 1867 where he lived with his close friend and fellow painter, Albert Kelsey. Their exact relationship is unknown because the intensely private Homer kept no diary, journal, saved no letters, and, unusual for an artist of his time, never completed a self portrait. He did, however, keep a photo of them on the back of which he wrote "Damon and Pythias." According to Richard Mann, the lifelong bachelor artist used a boy as his model for several of his famous paintings of women, as in Reading, above. For the final fifteen years of his life, until 1910, his closest companion at his estate in Prouts Neck, Maine, was Lewis Wright. Whatever their precise relationship, it disturbed some of Winslow's friends and neighbors, apparently beyond Wright's being black. Homer's work is celebrated throughout the splendidly reburbished galleries of American art at the Met. A must for everyone.
Already an academic to watch out for, Judith Butler became a star at thirty-four with the release of Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity in 1990. The queer studies/ feminist pioneer/ icon has published new books every few years since, still sparking waves of devotion, debate, and derision. In 2008, she received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award with prize money of $1.5 million going to her Department of Rhetoric at Berkeley. Two years ago, Utne Reader named her one of 25 Visionaries Changing Your World. Today, she's 56.
Celebrate Grant Wood's 121st birthday by reading Tripp Evans' breakthrough biography exploring how his coded work was influenced by being closeted in Iowa in unfriendly times. Evans reprints in color many of his paintings that are more interesting and more beautiful than his more famous American Gothic. The book's revelations extend beyond Wood's life and times; it may change the way you look at paintings.
The world's most famous makeup artist "married" his much younger boyfriend in an unofficial ceremony in Hawaii in July 2000 and after that Kevyn Aucoin referred to Jeremy Antunes as his husband. In less than two years, the man who easily earned $10,000 a session doing makeup for superstar celebrities' magazine cover shoots or Oscar appearances, the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers about beauty, the only makeup professional ever honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the founder of a new line of beauty products bearing his name, was dead at forty, without a will. His husband was locked out of their two shared homes without any legal recourse. Aucoin's estate went to his adoptive parents back in Louisiana who embody more than their share of contradictions: Initially repelled by homosexuality, they started the first PFLAG chapter in Lafayette yet refuse to give their son-in-law even the bed he shared with Kevyn.
It's possible that Kevyn and Jeremy were on the verge of breaking up, or experiencing a typical rough patch in what might have been a long marriage. Jeremy had left a sick and hurting Kevyn to go to Paris for a week alone, which sounds selfish and indulgent but could be seen as a tough ultimatum to someone ruinously addicted to many kinds of pain killers and sleeping pills, who had in the preceding six months dropped out of two programs to overcome substance abuse, and who had screwed up his friend Cher's "Song for the Lonely" video shoot (needing to be hospitalized twice) so notoriously that not one star had asked him to do her makeup for the Oscars that spring. In any case, Jeremy's trip was cut short by Kevin's final hospitalization. Those pills were to relieve Kevyn's intense suffering from acromegaly, a pituitary gland disorder that causes excessive growth and had given him an ever enlarging brain tumor, undiagnosed since he was nine years old, at which time he had already discovered makeup.
From childhood, his ambition for glamor and success was matched by his generosity of spirit. Two ex-boyfriends continued to work closely with him and even after he had achieved his own fame, he took enormous pleasure and considerable time to do makeup for shopgirls, neighbors, and even the homeless teenage drag queens of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, of which he was a vociferous supporter. Topping the wildly devoted praise by Cher, Janet, Tina, Tori, Gwyneth, Liza, Courtney, and Celine, Mary Tyler Moore said, "There were three men in my life I met who had the ability to make you feel like you were the only person in the world just by looking at you, just with their eyes: One was Sinatra, the other was [John Paul II] and the third was Kevyn." Despite his instructions that his ashes be scattered in Hawaii where he was married, Kevyn's parents are keeping his cremated remains in Louisiana because they like to visit him.
Although appreciated by some of his peers (Stieglitz gave him his first gallery show in 1909, George Platt Lynes photographed him several times, including this glum portrait in Hide/Seek at the Brooklyn Museum through February 12) the painter Marsden Hartley never saw financial success, never had a family or longterm partner, and was basically a drifter for life. Did his failures keep him moving or did his poverty dictate each leap from cheap housing to free board; or was he not fleeing but actively searching, hoping for the appreciation he knew he was due and seeking the manly love of comrades from his beloved Whitman? The nomadic pattern was established in 1885, when he was eight, after his mother died and the family was dispersed to various relatives. He moved incessantly throughout North America and Europe, then lived a series of towns in Maine as he was losing his hearing, his eyesight, and his health, until he died in 1943, at sixty-six. Tragedy chased him. The young German officer he loved was killed early in World War I; the strong sons of the fishing family he stayed with two summers in Nova Scotia were drowned. The recognition he craved and steadfastly believed in finally came decades after his death. In 1969, writing in the New York Times, Hilton Kramer praised Hartley's portraits as "the boldest paintings of male figures in the history of American art." Click to see a wrestler, another wrestler, or a Finnish sauna, or here to see his landscapes of Maine or New Mexico.
When he was thirty, Douglas Coupland published his first novel which permanently named the post-Boomers Generation X. In the twenty years since, he's written thirteen more novels, nine works of nonfiction (most recently a biography of Marshall McLuhan and the official guide to the Vancouver Olympics), and plays, screenplays, and tv scripts (a miniseries called Extinction Event). In 2010 he delivered the Massey Lectures in Canada, following in the footsteps of Noam Chomsky, Jane Jacobs, Carlos Fuentes, Margaret Atwood, and Martin Luther King Jr. Ever the intellectual renegade, Coupland's "lecture" is a five-hour real-time novel called Player One: What Is To Become of Us that takes place in an airport cocktail lounge amid a global catastrophe.
Beyond the 22 books and many scripts, Coupland is a visual artist. Recently he designed the Monument to the War of 1812 in Toronto, the iconic sculptures in Canoe Landing Park, and Canada's national monument to fallen firefighters to open in Ottawa in March 2012. He lives with David Weir in Vancouver, where they bought the midcentury house behind theirs for a high style project loved by the NYT. He says he works seven days a week and has never taken a vacation.
Often called the father of art history, a founding hero of modern archaeology, and one who ushered in the Neoclassical craze of the 18th century, Johann Joachim Winckelmann was also the prototype of the white Northern European who, cursed with being born too late (1717), pining for the lost Hellenistic age, moved to Italy to immerse himself in the beauty of the past and console himself with the youth of the present. Born into poverty in Brandenburg, scraping through university, he was then underpaid throughout his twenties as a teacher. He became a private tutor to a wealthy family and fell in love with his only pupil, Peter Lamprecht, who later lived with him. At thirty Winckelmann was appointed secretary of a library near Dresden with 40,000 volumes and assisted its owner with writing a book about the Holy Roman Empire. His study of local antiquities eventually led to his first book, Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture. That, in turn, led to stipend to visit Italy for two years, which stretched to the rest of his life. A new Catholic convert, he became librarian to two kind, older Cardinals. After their deaths, he was librarian to the rich and influential Cardinal Albani who paved the way for him to become prefect of antiquities at the Vatican when he was 45. The following year, 1764, he published his masterpiece, History of the Art of Antiquity, which begins with the Egyptians and Etruscans and for the first time differentiates among Greek, Greco-Roman, and Roman art. Immediately heralded as a monumental work, it established his reputation throughout Europe. Four years later he was invited to court in Vienna and Berlin but re-entering the north he had a panic attack and returned to Trieste. Waiting for a ship he became acquainted with Francesco Arcangeli who murdered him in his hotel bed. Arcangeli robbed him and later told police he thought Winckelmann was a nobody.