Lion and Leopard by Nathaniel Popkin

$ 18.00

This novel by Hidden City's own Nathaniel Popkin explores a pivotal period in Philadelphia, when American art and culture were in their infancy. In LION AND LEOPARD, the tragic demise of John Lewis Krimmel marks a flashpoint point between the young artist's European-influenced Romanticism and the Philadelphia art establishment long dominated by the formidable portraitist Charles Willson Peale. Peale's single-minded crusade to define American art through a dogma of reason and moral clarity clashes with the self-taught Krimmel's subversive notion that art must seduce the viewer—not lecture her—and it must touch the realm of the unknown. But how far will Krimmel go to spread his heresy? Spurned by Peale and his son Rembrandt, Krimmel aligns himself with the black sheep of the Peale family, Raphaelle, a master of deception. When Krimmel finishes a painting so intriguing that it is acquired by the art collector Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, Krimmel is accused by his powerful enemies of being a fraud. This sets off a maelstrom of events leading to a tragic fire, accusations of plagiarism, and a fateful confrontation with Peale that will have unthinkable consequences. The novel was published at the Head and the Hand Press in Frankford.

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