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

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Thomas E. A. Dale
Princeton University Press, 1997. 282 pp.; 8 color ills.; 160 b/w ills. Cloth $140.00 (0691011753)
With remarkable visual clarity, the apse mosaics of the church of San Marco in Venice proclaim the issues involved in the monograph of Thomas Dale. As Otto Demus discusses and illustrates in his magisterial volumes, four saints stand there beneath an enthroned Christ. Peter and Mark share the central axis. Peter hands Mark his Gospel; Mark acknowledges the gift by his extended right hand and displays it in his left hand. On the right side of the apse, St. Hermagoras turns toward Mark and his Gospel. In the corresponding position at the left stands St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors… Full Review
October 1, 1998
Elizabeth Cropper and Charles Dempsey
Princeton University Press, 1996. 374 pp.; 12 color ills.; 165 b/w ills. Cloth $95.00 (0691050678)
As the authors point out in their preface (and this is a book in which preface and introduction deserve the same reader's attention as its insightful text): "This book has had a long gestation . . . developing over continuous years of thinking, teaching, and writing about Poussin in particular and the art of the seventeenth century in general" (xvii). This is both an honest proposal and a fair warning; the book in hand is nearly as much about important general artistic developments and aesthetic attitudes in seicento Rome as it is about Poussin. The date of the… Full Review
September 1, 1998
Oskar Bätschmann and Pascal Griener
Trans Pascal Griener and Cecilia Hurley Princeton University Press, 1997. 256 pp.; 70 color ills.; 190 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0691005168)
This sumptuously illustrated volume on Hans Holbein the Younger is a welcome contribution to the scholarship on this important artist. Holbein is known for precise rendering of color, texture, and physical likeness in his celebrated portraits of wealthy merchants, aristocracy, and royalty. In addition to such renowned portraits as Thomas More of 1527 and the so-called French Ambassadors of 1533, among others, Bätschmann and Griener also include Holbein's less familiar book illustrations and his "monumental decorative" work, such as designs for murals in Basle from the 1520s. The virtue of this new volume, which sets out to be "neither a… Full Review
September 1, 1998