"The ten years leading up to the First World War were the most exciting, frenzied and revolutionary in the history of art. They were the crucible of Modernism, when Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism and Abstract Art all developed in quick succession. Simultaneously the old master market boomed, and art itself was politically weaponised in advance of approaching war. This book re-examines the period from a series of new and revealing angles. What was the conventional art against which Modernism was rebelling? Why did avant-garde artists become so obsessed with themselves? What persuaded a few bold collectors to buy difficult modern art? Why did others pay so much money for old masters? What was the changing view of the purpose of museums?"--Publisher's description.