Francis Haskell

Francis Haskell Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Trinity College, is the author of Patrons and Painters and Rediscoveries in Art, and, with Nicholas Penny, of Taste and the Antique.

Contre Goncourt

Francis Haskell, 18 March 1982

Like last year’s student riots in Switzerland, the fact that there have recently been historiographical disturbances, sometimes of a heated kind, affecting what have long seemed to be the most placid and amiable of all artistic schools – those of Dutch 17th-century genre painting and of French 18th-century painting in general – may come as something of a shock to those members of the public who do not keep their ears uncomfortably close to the ground. There have been hints, of course – but Philip Conisbee’s book is in fact the first to bring to a wide public the new interpretation of French painting in the 18th century that has been quietly gaining ground behind the scenes. Norman Bryson, in a work which will necessarily be much less read, entirely bypasses this particular interpretation, but substitutes a new one of his own which is, in part, dependent on changing views of Dutch art of the 17th century.

High-Spirited Barbarians

Lawrence Stone, 28 April 1994

Today, multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural studies are all the rage. They are, however, far more often preached than practised, in both Britain and America. During the 20th...

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Upward Mobility

Bruce Boucher, 31 March 1988

There are serious works that masquerade as coffee-table books, and Venetian Villas by Michelangelo Muraro is one of them. Large and elegantly packaged, it contains over four hundred colour plates...

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What we think about painting

John Barrell, 25 June 1987

‘At the very end of the 18th century and in the first years of the 19th, when the Imperial Republic of Venice had finally crumbled and the city itself was being handed backwards and...

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Perfection’s Progress

E.H. Gombrich, 5 November 1981

Here, at last, is a book of which we can sincerely say in the old phrase that it meets a long-felt want. It offers, in the modest words of the Preface, ‘a series of illustrations (which are...

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