Susan Jaques is an art writer with a love for museums and a consuming interest in history and art collecting. Her new biography, THE EMPRESS OF ART: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia (Pegasus Books, April 2016) explores Catherine II’s bold, unprecedented use of art and architecture to legitimize her reign and transform Russia into a European superpower.
Susan Jaques has written articles, profiles, and art reviews for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune and Toronto Globe and Mail and writes regularly about art for the Huffington Post’s Arts & Culture section. As a gallery docent at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, she shares highlights of the collection with hundreds of visitors each month, placing European paintings, sculptures and decorative art in historic and artistic context. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.
A native San Franciscan, David Downie lived in New York City, Providence, Rome and Milan before moving to Paris in the mid-1980s. He divides his time between France and Italy. His travel, food and arts features have appeared in over 50 leading print publications worldwide.
Downie’s latest book is A PASSION FOR PARIS: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light (Spring 2015, St. Martin’s Press), a lively literary romp through Paris from the Romantic Age to the present. Among Downie’s many other nonfiction books are the classic critically acclaimed collection of travel essays PARIS, PARIS: Journey into the City of Light, and the bestselling PARIS TO THE PYRENEES: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James. An authority on Italian and French food and wine Downie has authored half a dozen works on these topics, including COOKING THE ROMAN WAY: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks of Rome, and three award-winning volumes of Terroir Guide/Food Wine travel-food-and-wine books. He is also the author of two thrillers including PARIS CITY OF NIGHT. Downie’s Paris Timeline and Food Wine Rome travel apps are available from iTunes.
A frequent speaker about Paris, France, Rome and the Italian Riviera, Downie is co-owner with his wife Alison Harris of Paris, Paris Tours which offers custom walking tours of Paris, Burgundy, Rome and the Italian Riviera.
(author photograph by Alison Harris, (c) 2014)
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