Latest book reviews

Book Review: Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

Art historian and visual arts blogger Nigel Ip reviews Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer and is impressed by the book's exceptional research and brilliant illustrations. Read his thoughts here: Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer (by Carmen C. Bambach, with essays by Claire Barry, Francesco Caglioti, Caroline Elam, Marcella Marongiu, and Mauro Mussolin. 392 pp. incl. 370 col. ills.) is the companion book to the exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 13 November 2017 – 12 February 2018. Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) is a name that requires little introduction. The Sistine Chapel and his marble David (Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence) are some of...

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Book Review: Splendours of the Subcontinent : A Prince's Tour of India, 1875-6

Since prehistoric times, leaders across tribes and empires have exchanged land, money, cattle, brides, and precious stones as gifts.  Vesuvius - the gelding gifted to Xi Jinping by Macron Never look a gift horse in the mouth The right diplomatic gift can help foster strong relationships and showcase the best talents of a country.  Earlier this year, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, made the news with his gift of a eight-year-old gelding for Chinese premier, Xi Jinping. The choice of a horse hit all the right notes - it was both generous and thoughtful. The gift was inspired by the Chinese tradition of “panda diplomacy” and was also an allusion to the Qianlima, a...

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Book Review: Heath Robinson's Commercial Art : A Compendium of His Advertising Work

I've always loved Heath Robinson's cartoons - those ridiculously complex machinery with their elaborate pulley systems, belching steam boilers, pipes and levers.  I am not alone. The satirical artist has a special place in the British consciousness. Indeed his name was included in the dictionary in 1912 as a synonym for ingenious and absurd machinery and is still regularly used today. So I am delighted that a museum has been created focusing on Heath Robinson's life and work in my hometown of London. 'Your absurd, beautiful drawings... give me a peculiar pleasure of the mind like nothing else in the world.' - H.G. Wells in...

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Book Review: Modigliani

Art historian Jean Marie Carey reviews the Tate's Modigliani catalogue and is impressed by the range of rich colour reproductions and the thought-provoking essays within the volume. Edited by Nancy Ireson and Simonetta Fraquelli with essays by Cathy Corbett, Sophie Krebs, Vincent Gille, and Kenneth Wayne (Tate Modern Publishing: London, 2017). This catalogue accompanies the eponymous exhibition held at the Tate Modern London, 23 November 2017-2 April 2018. 224 pages with 150 colour reproductions. “Could Modigliani have been the same without Paris?” asks Sophie Krebs in the chapter “Modigliani and Paris,” one of the opening essays in the catalogue accompanying the retrospective...

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Book Review: Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea 1855

Non-stop imagery from conflict zones surrounds us. It seems that every day, we are bombarded with shaky phone videos and grainy snaps of conflicts and their aftermath from our television and from social media. And yet it is the photograph that has the deepest bite, searing images such as Capa's shot of Americans landing on Omaha beach, Mason's shot of St Paul's Cathedral in the blitz and Don McCullin's image of a shell-shocked Marine into our memory. Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea 1855 Royal Collection's latest publication shines a light on one of the early pioneers of war photography, Roger Fenton (1819-69). The book draws on...

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