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Head of Zeus
The Vanished Collection Pauline Baer de Perignon, translated by Natasha Lehrer

A charming and heartfelt story about war, art, and the lengths a woman will go to to find the truth about her family.

'As devourable as a thriller ... Incredibly moving' Elle

'Pauline Baer de Perignon is a natural storyteller – refreshingly honest, curious and open' Lynn H. Nicholas

It all started with a list of paintings. There, scribbled by a cousin she hadn't seen for years, were the names of the masters whose works once belonged to her great-grandfather, Jules Strauss: Renoir, Monet, Degas, Tiepolo and more. Pauline Baer de Perignon knew little to nothing about Strauss, or about his vanished, precious art collection.

But the list drove her on a frenzied trail of research in the archives of the Louvre and the Dresden museums, through Gestapo records, and to consult with Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. What happened in 1942? And what became of the collection after Nazis seized her great-grandparents' elegant Parisian apartment?

The quest takes Pauline Baer de Perignon from the Occupation of France to the present day as she breaks the silence around the wrenching experiences her family never fully transmitted, and asks what art itself is capable of conveying over time.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Memoir
03 Feb 2022 * 288pp * £7.99 * 9781803280882
REVIEWS
'Pauline Baer de Perignon is a natural storyteller – refreshingly honest, curious and open. Like the best memoirists, she manages to tell multiple stories simultaneously, to delicately layer meanings and narratives'
Menachem Kaiser, author of Plunder
'A charmingly told account of a woman's quest to reconstruct her great-grandfather's art collection'
Lynn H. Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa
'Beautifully evokes a vanished world that once stood at the crossroads between the heights of civilization and the depths of barbarism before being overwhelmed by the latter'
James Gardner, author of The Louvre
'A terrific book'
Le Point
'As devourable as a thriller ... Incredibly moving'
Elle
'Pauline Baer de Perignon transforms an unfortunately commonplace account of paintings stolen by the Nazis into a breathtaking novel of suspense'
Le Figaro
Author
Pauline Baer de Perignon
Pauline Baer de Perignon
Pauline Baer de Perignon has co-authored film scripts and directed writing workshops in Paris where she lives. The Vanished Collection is her first book.
Translator

Natasha Lehrer

Natasha Lehrer
Natasha Lehrer has translated books by Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Victor Segalen, Chantal Thomas and the Dalai Lama. Her co-translation of Nathalie Léger's Suite for Barbara Loden won the 2017 Scott Moncrieff Prize.
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