The Unknown Night: The Madness and Genius of R.A. Blakelock, an American Painter. Glyn Vincent.

The Unknown Night: The Madness and Genius of R.A. Blakelock, an American Painter

New York: Grove Press, 2003.

First Edition. Hardcover. Stated First Edition. 9 1/4" X 6 1/4". x, 362pp. Very mild shelf wear to covers and edges of dust jacket. Green cloth over boards with spine backed in blue and lettered in gilt. Pages are bright, clean, and unmarked. Glossy pages with photographs of paintings and portraits at center of text block. A tight, clean, First Edition copy.


On February 22, 1916, Ralph Albert Blakelock's haunting landscape, Brook by Moonlight, was sold at auction for $20,000, a record price for a painting by a living American artist. The sale made him famous, newspapers called him America's greatest artist, and thousands flocked to exhibits of his work. Yet at the time of his triumph Blakelock had spent 15 years confined in a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York and his wife and children were living in poverty. Released from the asylum by a young philanthropist, Blakelock was about to become the victim of one of the most heartless con games of the century.

This remarkable biography chronicles the life, times and madness of one of America’s most celebrated and exploited painters whose brooding, hallucinogenic landscapes anticipated Abstract Expressionism by more than half a century. Like the best biographies, The Unknown Night brings to life a vanished world, as well. In this case, it’s late 19th and early 20th century New York—a city of artists’ studios and spiritualists’ salons, shantytowns and millionaires’ mansions. (publisher). Very good + / very good +. Item #6147
ISBN: 0802117341

Price: $20.00