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

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Rona Goffen, ed.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 176 pp.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (0521467098)
Masaccio's Trinity is part of a new series initiated last year by the Cambridge University Press, which recalls two high quality series of art history books from the 1970s. As in the Viking Press series, "Art in Context," a single masterwork of Western European painting from the Renaissance through the twentieth century is examined in detail. Following a format similar to "The Artists in Perspective Series" (Prentice-Hall), each volume includes an introduction by the editor followed by... Full Review
June 16, 1999
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William L. Pressly
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. 212 pp.; 2 color ills.; 100 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0520211960)
This book is one of the University of California Press's Discovery Series, each of which focuses on a single important work of art, artist or theme in the history of art. Thus, Pressly's contribution examines in detail two paintings illustrating incidents in the French Revolution: Plundering the King's Cellar at Paris, August 10, 1792, (1794, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut) and Celebrating over the Bodies of the Swiss Soldiers, August 12, 1792, (ca. 1794... Full Review
June 16, 1999
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Hans Mielke
Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 1996. 247 pp.; 161 b/w ills. Cloth €69.00 (250350499X)
See also: Nadine M. Orenstein, ed. "Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints":http://www.caareviews.org/reviews/443, reviewed by Nils Buttner This recent catalogue of the drawings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder is the product of decades of research on the part of its author, who served as a curator of the Berlin-Dahlem Print Room from 1971 until his death in 1994. A widely respected scholar, Hans Mielke was the author of several significant publications, including major catalogues... Full Review
June 16, 1999
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George Michell
New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998. 232 pp.; 250 color ills.; 44 b/w ills. Paper $39.95 (0500279640)
George Michell has been publishing on aspects of South Asian architecture for more than twenty years, offering volumes of often broad scope on little known or underdeveloped topics and monuments. From his many publications on the remains and archaeological activities at the South Indian site of Vijayanagara in particular, but also Chandragiri, Firuzabad, and Deccani architecture to his volume on south Indian architecture published as part of the New Cambridge History of India (New... Full Review
June 3, 1999
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Frederick C. Moffatt
Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998. 240 pp.; 107 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0874136288)
Frederick C. Moffatt has written a handsomely illustrated and abundantly researched book on George Grey Barnard's somewhat notorious statue of Abraham Lincoln. Part of the American Arts Series of the University of Delaware Press, this volume contributes to the growing number of publications on American sculptural history. Over the years, this series has held a special commitment to this underserved field with its publication of such prestigious tomes as Wayne Craven's Sculpture in... Full Review
June 2, 1999
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Jean C. Wilson
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. 272 pp.; 79 ills. Cloth $65.00 (0271016531)
We have learned a great deal in recent years about the conditions under which images became commodities, to be dealt in, traded, even speculated in during the early modern period, from the researches of many scholars, including Michael Montias, Lorne Campbell, Dan Ewing, Lynn Jacobs, Hans van Miegrot, and Elizabeth Honig. Jean Wilson has made important contributions to this discussion with her studies of Bruges artists in the early sixteenth century. This book offers an overall synthesis of... Full Review
June 2, 1999
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W. J. T. Mitchell
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 322 pp.; 45 color ills.; 69 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0226532046)
Showing it to be wholly a creature of the enlightenment, W. J. T. Mitchell has connected what would appear to be all the implications offered by the image of the dinosaur. In this regard, The Last Dinosaur Book is continuous with his more narrowly art-historical work on the landscape as a cultural construction. While some might think that an image ubiquitous to the bedrooms of America's children would be worth at least one book by an American cultural theorist, Mitchell has been... Full Review
May 28, 1999
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John R. Clarke
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. 406 pp.; 16 color ills.; 90 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (0520200241)
The very name of the collection containing many of the depictions of sex discussed in John Clarke's Looking at Lovemaking—the "secret room" (il gabinetto segreto ) in the Museo Nazionale, Naples—suggests the challenge this material presents to interpreters of Roman visual culture. In this beautifully illustrated study, Clarke sets out to consider these coyly closeted objects in context, in order to analyze a cultural construction of sexuality that is markedly different from that... Full Review
May 24, 1999
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Angelica Goodden
London: André Deutsch in association with Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1999. 384 pp.; 8 color ills.; 23 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0233990216)
Poststructuralist theory has taught us to distrust a language that purports to represent its subject transparently and innocently, for words do not just present a value-neutral world for our consideration and use. Rather, such words as "woman artist," for example, give us both the thing and its meaning. If we accept this theory as correct, all language is suspect, but some forms of writing, such as biography, are capable of more mischief than others. Although biography claims to be... Full Review
May 18, 1999
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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Trans. John Frederick Nims. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 185 pp.; 2 b/w ills. Cloth $25.00 (0226080331)
Call this a time when translations of Michelangelo's notoriously difficult poetry have entered into their own in English, and be grateful for the heroic labors of so many first-rate translators. John Frederick Nims's fine new rendition of Michelangelo's complete poems is the fifth major one to appear since 1960. In that year Joseph Tusiani offered the first rendition of the entire corpus in appropriately elevated, energetic, often enigmatic verse. Three years later Creighton Gilbert... Full Review
May 17, 1999
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