“What defines a treasure, and who controls its fate? Easter and Vorhees expertly weave the story of the ship and the painting into history. They plumb the two decades of drama that followed The Nursery’s rediscovery to combine important questions about the value of art and culture and the meaning of hertitage and to create an entertaining tale."
– Sara Jorgensen, Booklist
"Wide-ranging and meticulously researched. Easter and Vorhees braid the various threads of the story together and make a persuasive case. Readers will covet this intriguing portrait of an art world mystery."
– Publishers Weekly
"An apprentice to Rembrandt, Gerritt Dou eventually surpassed his teacher in fame and wealth. Over the centuries, however, Dou’s reputation has shifted repeatedly with the tides of fashion in the arts. His story makes up one strand of this engaging new book by Easter and Vorhees. An intriguing narrative, and an entertaining yarn whose ending is yet to be written."
– Kirkus Reviews
“Gerald Easter and Mara Vorhees skillfully weave the shipwreck of the Vrouw Maria and its secret cargo with the lives of Dutch Golden Age painter Gerrit Dou and Russia’s art-loving Catherine the Great. The high stakes search for the tsarina’s lost treasure, 18th century and modern, reads like a detective story. A true delight for fans of art, mystery, and maritime archeology.”
– Susan Jaques, author of The Empress of Art and The Caesar of Paris
"As the ‘Sea Hunters,’ we had seen wrecks as scattered fragments on coral reefs, as steel structures torn apart by storms and battles in deep water, as rusted, collapsed hulks, and as exquisitely preserved time capsules. We’d found ships with profound historical and cultural connections. . . . Others were filled with cargo of exceptional value to science or archaeology—or had actual treasure. But until Vrouw Maria, we had never seen a ship that had all of that. Lost art masterpieces? A wreck found thanks to dedicated archival research and focused ocean surveys? A wreck discovered incredibly intact, nestled between a shoal of rocks as sharp as dragon’s teeth? This was a wreck that should have been in a Clive Cussler novel."
– James P. Delgado, Maritime Archaeologist and Author
"The Vrouw Maria was initially of no great importance—less than 100 feet in length it was just a two-masted wooden cargo ship. But what a cargo and what a story it harbors. The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure takes this long-lost ship and its priceless cargo, and blends in the story of Dutch art and its competitive owners. And that is just the beginning of the story of Catherine the Great’s lost artworks."
– Tony Wheeler, co-founder of LONELY PLANET