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Art

From worthless to priceless

15 April 2009
The Ultimate Trophy: How Impressionist Painting Conquered the World Philip Hook

Prestel, pp.223, 17.99

A combination of art history ‘lite’ and the personal touch — a common yoking together these days, even in books supposedly of art history ‘full strength’ — makes for, in… Read more

Shrine of a connoisseur

7 April 2009
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London Tim Knox

Merrell, pp.160, 24.95

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, by Tim Knox, photographs by Derry Moore Sir John Soane’s Museum is very nearly a folly — a mad grotto in the midst of Georgian… Read more

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Red Star Over Russia

4 March 2009
Red Star Over Russia David King

Tate, pp.345, 25

Winston Churchill’s cousin, the sculptor Clare Sheridan, gazes up at her bust of Trotsky, made during a trip to Moscow in 1920. Her subjects were leading Bolsheviks including Felix Dzerzhinsky,… Read more

Horses decline, dogs advance

14 January 2009
The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art Tamsin Pickeral

Merrell, pp.287, 29.95

Dogs: History, Myth, Art Catherine Johns

British Museum Press, pp.208, 16.99

The Horse: A Celebration of Horses in Art Rachel and Simon Barnes

Quercus, pp.224, 25

The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art, by Tamsin Pickeral Dogs: History, Myth, Art, by Catherine Johns The Horse: A Celebration of Horses in Art, by Rachel and… Read more

The Leap from the Judas Tree

7 January 2009
Stephen Chambers Andrew Lambirth

Unicorn Press, pp.192, 40

Stephen Chambers, by Andrew Lambirth Of the same 1980s generation as Peter Doig and the Young British Artists (Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin et al), Stephen Chambers has always pursued a… Read more

Photopoetry

12 December 2008
Photopoetry Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Thames & Hudson, pp.336, 42

Photopoetry, by Manuel Alvarez Bravo Manuel Alvarez Bravo, born in 1902, lived to be 100 and worked as a photographer in Mexico for eight decades. He was destined to spend… Read more

A grand overview

12 December 2008
Paintings in Proust Eric Karpeles

Thames & Hudson, pp.352, 25

This unassuming book is in fact a valuable addition to the Proust bibliography. The author, himself a painter, has had the apparently simple idea of extracting all references to works… Read more

The new look that never aged

12 December 2008
The Allure of Chanel Paul Morand

Pushkin Press, pp.181, 12

The Allure of Chanel, by Paul Morand, translated by Euan Cameron Should anyone ever ask me that daft magazine question about who you’d invite to your dream dinner-party (‘anyone in… Read more