If you access or use the journal, you accept these conditions.

Browse Recent Book Reviews

Holly Edwards, ed.
Princeton University Press in association with Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1999. 242 pp.; many color ills.; some b/w ills. Paper $65.00 (069105004X)

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, June 11-September 4, 2000; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD, October 1-December 10, 2000; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, February 3-April 22, 2001.

March 29, 2001

Prepared for an exhibition that originated at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, this catalogue richly illustrates and analyzes the multivalent visual culture of American Orientalism from the post-Civil War Holy Land paintings of Frederic Church to the Hollywood movie celebrity Rudolph Valentino, who starred in The Sheik (1921). The catalogue comprises five interpretive essays by scholars from different disciplines as well as contextually detailed catalogue entries for a diverse array of art objects...

Alexander Nagel
Cambridge University Press, 1999. 303 pp.; 105 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0521662923)
March 26, 2001

In his sustained and enlightening meditation on Michelangelo and the figure of the dead Christ, Alexander Nagel has persuasively repositioned the artist’s work within a climate of historicism and reform. He has also achieved much more than this. Long before Vasari, as Nagel reminds us, artists had been mindful of art’s own history. Their definition of change—whether stylistic or iconographic—and their attitude toward it, embodied the highest kind of self-consciousness. With respect to art in...

Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, and Nicholas Penny
Yale University Press in association with National Gallery, London, 2001. 329 pp.; 300 color ills.; 86 b/w ills. Paper $39.95 (0300095333)
March 23, 2001

Dürer to Veronese is the second out of a series of four planned volumes exploring the function, meaning, and making of European paintings in the collection of the National Gallery, London. Unlike the first volume, Giotto to Dürer, covering two hundred and fifty years of pictorial production and published in 1991, the present volume focuses upon one century alone and does not include separate entries on individual paintings. The new book, written by the restorer...

Guy Delmarcel
Harry N. Abrams, 1999. 383 pp.; 350 color ills.; 100 b/w ills. Cloth $100.00 (0810933454)
March 21, 2001

Guy Delmarcel's recent book is a survey of tapestries produced in what is now Belgium and Northern France from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Flemish Tapestries is a luxuriously illustrated book, including numerous tapestries which have not been reproduced previously. Published almost simultaneously in French, Dutch, and English, the book was financed by the Ministry of Flemish Culture. In contrast to some of his earlier specialized and minutely documented contributions to tapestry history (among...

Walter S. Gibson
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. 291 pp.; 16 color ills.; 124 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0520216989)
March 21, 2001

In his new book, Pleasant Places: The Rustic Landscape from Bruegel to Ruisdael, Walter Gibson takes the reader on an extensive wandeling that explores the diverse pleasures the seventeenth-century Dutch took in from images of their own familiar countryside. The book spans from the sixteenth-century "origins" of the "rustic" landscape in Antwerp to late seventeenth-century discussions of the picturesque, but developments associated with Haarlem are central. In the words of the author, "The rustic landscape...

Peg Zeglin Brand, ed.
Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999. 329 pp.; 52 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0253337267)
March 17, 2001

A cold, wintry, and grey afternoon in London might not be the best environment to begin thinking about whether and how beauty matters, or about what are the matters that form our definitions of Beauty. However, the eerie bleakness of the weather around me coincided with the need initially to consider one form of reaction to beauty: namely, our differing responses and reactions to nature. This question was considered in Marcia M. Eaton's discussion of...

Sarah Quill
Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999. 206 pp.; 210 color ills.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth (1840146974)
March 17, 2001

One of the most beautiful books to appear in recent years, this visual feast that is Ruskin's Venice: The Stones Revisited pairs quotations from the three volumes of John Ruskin's The Stones of Venice (New York: Lovell, 1851-53) with Sarah Quill's dazzling photographs of the monuments that Ruskin observed. Every detail is appealing, from the dust jacket—a deftly chosen detail of the marble encrustation on the Ca' Dario that Ruskin would surely have favored—to the...

James Ayres
Yale University Press, 1997. 280 pp.; 42 color ills.; 302 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (0300075480)
Elizabeth McKellar
Manchester University Press in association with Palgrave Macmillan, 2000. 263 pp.; 59 b/w ills. Paper $35.00 (0719040760)
March 17, 2001

Two recent works significantly extend our understanding of the architectural history of London and English provincial towns and cities. Elizabeth McKellar's masterful study of the economic and statutory forces that shaped the appearance of London's domestic buildings offers the first major reconsideration of the metropolis since the publication of Sir John Summerson's 1945 Georgian London. James Ayres's overview of the technological innovations and craft traditions that enabled the emergence of the Georgian urban landscape stands...

Patricia Mathews
University of Chicago Press, 1999. 316 pp.; 13 color ills.; 92 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0226510182)
March 16, 2001

The Symbolist aesthetic in late nineteenth-century Europe demonstrates a particularly idiosyncratic complexity due to its interweaving of cultural, political, social, scientific, and aesthetic influences. Tracking these individual strands in the art and literature at the fin-de-siècle reveals a strong reaction against Enlightenment ideals of progress and rationalism that was often expressed in visual and verbal images of superstition and mysticism. During this period, subjective intuition replaced realist observation while suggestion was preferred to description for...

Sabine Eiche, ed.
Urbino: Accademia Raffaello, 1998. 145 pp.; 11 b/w ills. Cloth $27.50 (8887573034)
March 16, 2001

Recent scholarship has produced a mounting bibliography in the area of court studies, helping to convince most scholars that, however important the great republics, the courts must be included in any complete evaluation of cultural history in the Renaissance. Yet the precise nature of the Italian Renaissance court remains hard to define, with many fundamental questions still inadequately answered. How institutionalized was the court? Who, exactly, were its members? Did they have specific roles and...