Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

Reviews in are published continuously by CAA and Taylor & Francis, with the most recently published reviews listed below. Browse reviews based on geographic region, period or cultural sphere, or specialty (from 1998 to the present) using Review Categories in the sidebar, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

Richard T. Neer
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 328 pp.; 101 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (0521791111)
No group of Athenian vase painters has received more scholarly attention than the so-called Pioneers, the early painters in the red-figure technique working from its invention ca. 530 B.C. to about 490/480 B.C., the height of the late archaic period in Greek art. Among the Pioneers the best known by far is Euphronios, one of the few ancient Greek artists to be given a solo exhibition and still the holder of the record price for a Greek vase. The Pioneers and their vases are also the... Full Review
August 22, 2003
Elizabeth A. Newsome
Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001. 294 pp.; 165 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0292755724)
Elizabeth Newsome’s Trees of Paradise and Pillars of the World: The Serial Stela Cycle of “18-Rabbit-God K,” King of Copan is a monographic treatment of stela sculpture commissioned by one Classic Maya king, nicknamed “18 Rabbit,” ruler of Copan, Honduras, between A.D. 695 and 738. This fact is extremely telling about the current state of knowledge of the ancient Maya. Scholarship in this field has become so detailed that book-length biographies of individual kings,... Full Review
August 21, 2003
Meyer Schapiro’s choice of subjects in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art was highly selective, focusing on artists and issues, concerned with the relation of art to politics, art to science, and certain kinds of personal expression. Belief in the subjectivity of vision underlies Schapiro’s engagement with modern art. That he drew, painted, and sculpted all his life, works figurative and abstract, may well have confirmed this belief.[1] While modern art was not his primary scholarly... Full Review
August 20, 2003
Felix Thürlemann
New York: Prestel, 2002. 392 pp.; 87 color ills.; 218 b/w ills. Cloth $129.00 (379132778X)
Felix Thürlemann’s monograph presents a radically new vision of the notoriously elusive, early Netherlandish painter, Robert Campin. Questions about the attribution of his works have plagued scholars from 1909, when the artist was first “discovered” and identified with the Master of Flémalle by Georges Hulin de Loo, to the present, as was particularly evident at the Campin symposium held at the National Gallery in London in 1993 (its papers were published in Susan Foister and Susie Nash,... Full Review
August 20, 2003
Jennifer Neils
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 316 pp.; 180 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (0521641616)
The Parthenon frieze has stimulated more discussion and controversy than any other monument of the ancient Greco-Roman world. Resistant to verifiable interpretation, the frieze continues to generate scholarly effort and stir interest among the general populace, for not only its aesthetic appeal but also its powerful potential as a cultural and political icon. Anyone who writes about the Parthenon frieze invites criticism and controversy, so it is to Jenifer Neils’s great credit that... Full Review
August 14, 2003
Richard L. Kagan and Fernando Mariás
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. 240 pp.; 136 color ills.; 18 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0300083149)
An impressive and fascinating book about paintings and prints, atlases and travelers’ tales, Urban Images of the Hispanic World, 1493–1793 spans three hundred years and covers a vast geographic and visual landscape. It surveys civic spaces from the manicured parks in Mexico City and Lima to the Cerro Rico of Potosí and public works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Richard Kagan’s perspective on urban forms differs from much of the traditional literature on Spanish American... Full Review
August 12, 2003
Carolyn C. Wilson
Philadelphia: St. Joseph’s University Press, 2000. 305 pp.; 17 color ills.; 62 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (0916101363)
In Jacopo Bassano’s Nativity with Shepherds and Saints Victor and Corona altarpiece of 1568 for San Giuseppe in Bassano del Grappa (now Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa), Joseph is depicted nodding off in the lower left corner of the composition. Or is he? In one of the many subtle and erudite analyses in this magnificent book, Carolyn Wilson reconsiders the meaning of the sleeping Joseph in Bassano’s painting and, by extension, in Renaissance iconography in general. Rather... Full Review
August 8, 2003
In this short essay, Michael Rabe responds to Padma Kaimal’s review of his book, The Great Penance at Mamallapuram: Deciphering a Visual Text (Chennai, Institute of Asian Studies, 2001), published in January 14, 2003. Rabe’s text first appeared in the spring/summer 2003 issue of the American Council for Southern Asian Art... Full Review
August 7, 2003
Samuel Y. Edgerton
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001. 350 pp.; 83 color ills.; 91 b/w ills.; 20 ills. Cloth $60.00 (0826322565)
Samuel Edgerton has collaborated with photographer Jorge Pérez de Lara to produce a compelling book on the large mission complexes (conventos) in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century colonial Mexico. A chance trip to Mexico in 1987 introduced Renaissance scholar Edgerton to Mexico’s rich artistic and architectural heritage, and he quickly immersed himself in its study. Bringing his extensive knowledge of medieval and Renaissance European history, philosophy, theology, art, and architecture to... Full Review
August 5, 2003
Peter Fergusson and Stuart Harrison
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. 296 pp.; 35 color ills.; 189 b/w ills. Cloth $90.00 (0300078315)
Megan Cassidy-Welch
Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2000. 312 pp.; 51 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (2503510892)
Terryl N. Kinder
Grand Rapids, Mich. and Kalamazoo, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. and Cistercian Publications, 2001. 407 pp.; 200 ills. Cloth $70.00 (0802838871)
These three publications are among the latest of a surfeit of Cistercian titles published in recent years: Terryl Kinder surveys Cistercian life and architecture throughout Europe with emphasis on the medieval period, Peter Fergusson and Stuart Harrison chronicle one of the earliest Cistercian houses in England from its founding through the twentieth century, while Megan Cassidy-Welch speculates on the use of monastic spaces in thirteenth-century Yorkshire. Though each work has its own focus,... Full Review
August 4, 2003