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Review Excerpts

Washington Post – October 19, 2008
"Clark's stories of the flood are the stuff of thrilling documentaries… … paintings, not books, remain at the heart of Clark's story, and none more so than the Cimabue ‘Crucifix.’ Here, Clark almost coyly approaches the bloody crossroads where the care of priceless art intersects with money, ambition and sex..."
-- Michael Dirda

Kirkus - October 1, 2008
"Wildly ambitious in scope and driven by the author’s passion for the city."

Men’s Vogue – October 1, 2008
“[November 4, 2006], the [Arno] river had burst its banks and water was pouring into the city at a rate of 225,000 gallons per second, leaving some 14,000 works of art damaged or destroyed. Robert Clark’s Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces (Doubleday) revisits that fateful day, interweaving its chaotic aftermath…with his own search for beauty.”
--Liz McDaniel

Library Journal, Starred Review – September 1, 2008
“…Clark uses this riveting story to meditate on the communion that exists between artist and viewer and on the mortality of even the greatest art… … This exceptional work of popular history succeeds on all counts. It will satisfy the most discriminating reader. Enthusiastically recommended for large public and all academic collections.”
-- David Keymer, Modesto, CA

Publishers Weekly – July 28, 2008
He… follows the decades-long and rancorously debated restoration projects… seeing in them a metaphor for artistic beauty as an endless work-in-progress… by building up layers of atmospheric chiaroscuro—the drying city, he notes, lay “lacquered in tints of warm earth and azzuro sky... like pigments just brushed on and still moist”—he achieves an evocative portrait of Florence as its own greatest masterpiece.

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