Sunday, 19 January 2014

New and upcoming art books

Displaying photo.JPG
Picture: MS
I finally conquered my teetering pile of unread books over the Christmas break, just in time for the promising crop of titles for 2014. Sorry for the gratuitous cat photo, but what pile of books is complete without a cat? Here are the upcoming highlights that I've added to my wishlist.

Richard Verdi Rembrandt's Themes: Life into Art Yale University Press March 2014 £25 Richard Verdi was director of the Barber Institute in Birmingham, and has written on a wide variety of periods and subjects - Cezanne, Poussin, Klee, Parrots and now Rembrandt. Especially looking forward to this.

Carlo Falciani & Antonio Natali et al Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino Mandragora March 2014 £35 Catalogue of a forthcoming exhibition in Florence that I really hope I can get to. A-list roster of catalogue contributors - looks like this will become a key text on Italian mannerism.

Alessandra Zamperini Paolo Veronese Thames & Hudson March 2014 £60. Promising monograph published to coincide with the National Gallery exhibition (I've already got my season ticket!).

Jonathan Brown In the Shadow of Velazquez: A life in Art History Princeton University Press May 2014 £25 Autobiographical book based on lectures at the Prado. I'm a fan of both Velazquez and Jonathan Brown. Can't wait! 
Roger Scruton The Soul of the World Princeton University Press April 2014 Defending transcendence against the onslaught of scientistic atheism. I love and hate Scruton in equal measure; I rarely agree with him entirely, and sometimes despise him absolutely. But he is a fine writer and a sophisticated thinker and I enjoy his writing immensely. And you can tell this book will be good because there's a nice Poussin on the cover. Contrary to popular wisdom, you can tell a lot about a book from its cover.

Morton Steen Hansen In Michelangelo's Mirror: Perino del Vaga, Daniela da Volterra, Pellegrino Tibaldi Penn State University Press 2013 £57.35 I'm picking up a copy from the London Library tomorrow.
Lorne Campbell The Sixteenth Century Netherlandish Paintings, with French Paintings before 1600: National Gallery Catalogue Princeton University Press July 2014 £95 (sic!) The latest in a fabulous series of NG catalogues. Shame about the cost.

Martin Postle and Robert Simon Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting Yale University Press March 2014 £45 This looks fantastic. I've always liked Wilson and thought him rather under-rated. This book situates him in a European rather than parochially British context.

Mark Hallett Reynolds: Portraiture in Action Yale University Press June 2014 £50 Latest in the excellent series of Paul Mellon Centre Studies in British Art

Jonathan W. Unglaub Poussin's Ordination: History, Faith and the Sacred Landscape Princeton University Press 2013 £9.99 In the Kimbell's excellent series of short books focusing on works in its collection, this one on their fantastic recent Poussin acquisition. Don't be put off by the ghastly subtitle!

Tom Nichols Titian and the End of the Venetian Renaissance Reaktion 2013 £49 Self-recommending.

Perrin Stein et al Artists and Amateurs: Etching in eighteenth century France Princeton University Press 2013 £45 Catalogue of an exhibition at the Met, which has been positively reviewed. I've been consistently impressed by the Met's exhibition catalogues, and I'm keen to get my hands on this one.

Malcolm Bull Inventing Falsehood, Making Truth: Vico and Neapolitan Painting Princeton University Press 2013 £16.95 Sounds arcane, but anything by Bull will be good.

James Hall The Self-Portrait: A cultural history Thames & Hudson April 2014 £19.95 I've never read any of Hall's books; I find their titles portentously off-putting (Michelangelo and the reinvention of the human body and The Sinister Side: How left/right symbolism shaped western art). It will be interesting to see if he has anything new to say about this well-worn theme.

Anita Georgiavska-Shine & Larry Silver Rubens, Velazquez and the King of Spain Ashgate February 2014 £70 Study of the Torre de la Parada, which was decorated by Rubens and Velazquez. Both artists' contributions have been extensively studied; this book considers them in unison. I recently read the Rubens Corpus volume on Rubens' contribution to the Torre de la Parada, written by Svetlana Alpers, so looking forward to this as a follow-up.
Rachael Z. Delue C├ęzanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection, Princeton University Art Museum Yale University Press January 2014 £50 There are some outstanding masterpieces in the Pearlman Collection. I look forward to seeing it in its entirety in this new catalogue.

David Bindman Warm Flesh, Cold Marble: Canova, Thorvaldsen and their critics Yale University Press March 2014 £30 Considers impact of Kantian aesthetics on their output and the 'relationship between the whiteness of marble and ideas of race'. Hmm.

Pascal Griener & Oscar Batschmann Hans Holbein Reaktion 2013 £17.95 New edition of an excellent study of Holbein. The new edition is small format, but the illustrations are good and I might buy it despite already owning the original edition.

Camille Paglia Glittering Images: A journey through art from Ancient Egypt to Star Wars Vintage 2013 £11.53 Barking mad, but in a good way.

Keith Christiansen Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters Yale University Press May 2014 £12.99 Short catalogue of forthcoming Piero exhibition at the Met.

Laura M. Giles et al Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Gallery Yale University Press April 2014 £50

Eik Kahng Delacroix and the Matter of Finish Yale University Press February 2014 £21.40 Blurb is intriguing.

Plenty to review this year!


  1. Thanks (although my bank account disagrees)! This looks like another one to watch for: James Banker, Piero della Francesca: Artist and Man (OUP).

  2. Thanks for the tip - another book on Piero, fantastic news!

  3. I like a lot of the titles you listed. Actually my search on the one about Veronese led me here, i thought you had some information on the book, I couldn't find much about the book even on the official webpage of T&H. However it seems that the book or a similar one was published already once in Italian...

    I don't know if you know about this catalogue "Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice". It would be nice to know how you think about it...

    I notice that you only listed one title on modern art-Cezanne...Anyways, some of the titles are already available before the scheduled releasing date, so Happy Reading!!!

    1. T&H website is poor - I couldn't find much about it either. I understand that the catalogue of the NG Veronese exhibition is by Xavier Bray, and given how many projects he's been involved with I'm sceptical that there will be much new material - although I look forward to seeing it. I am less interested in modern art, so I tend to rely on others' recommendations. It's a terrible generalisation, but I find a lot of writing on modern art, and especially contemporary art, to suffer more from bad writing and excessive theorising. But please pass on any recommendations - I'm always up for trying new things!