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The Limit

Rosemary Hill, 2 November 1995

Christopher Wood: An English Painter 
by Richard Ingleby.
Allison and Busby, 295 pp., £25, May 1995, 0 85031 849 1
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Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 343 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 670 84203 6
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... family, worried by Wood’s courtship of their daughter Meraud, had him followed – by Mrs Patrick Campbell. But he struggled on regardless. He met Picasso, he even worked at painting though he was dissatisfied with the results and his output was small. By 1926 he had made a name for himself, which was, as he told his mother, the important thing. The ...

Unhappy Childhoods

John Sutherland, 2 February 1989

Trollope and Character 
by Stephen Wall.
Faber, 397 pp., £17.50, September 1988, 0 571 14595 7
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The Chronicler of Barsetshire: A Life of Anthony Trollope 
by R.H. Super.
Michigan, 528 pp., $35, December 1988, 0 472 10102 1
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Dickens: A Biography 
by Fred Kaplan.
Hodder, 607 pp., £17.95, November 1988, 0 340 48558 2
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Charlotte Brontë 
by Rebecca Fraser.
Methuen, 543 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 9780413570109
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... is rather in two minds about Lowood/Cowan Bridge. She scrupulously notes the major anomaly: would Patrick Brontë – ‘naturally kind-hearted’ – have kept his children at a school only fifty miles away where they were being tortured literally to death? Fraser concludes that Charlotte’s account was ‘clouded by emotion’ but ‘somewhere close to the ...

Open in a Scream

Colm Tóibín, 4 March 2021

Francis Bacon: Revelations 
by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan.
William Collins, 869 pp., £30, January, 978 0 00 729841 9
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... circle of acquaintance, including with the Australian painter Roy de Maistre. In his memoir, Patrick White remembers de Maistre as ‘a snob’ who ‘enjoyed a princess’:In Eccleston Street, in the de Maistre studio-salon, I met other more or less important people, among them Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Francis ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being, 10 October 2019

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September 2019, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... uses his extensive interviews with Freud subtly and judiciously. In 1945, when Freud asked Graham Sutherland who the greatest painter in England was, Sutherland responded: ‘Oh, someone you’ve never heard of: he’s like a cross between Vuillard and Picasso; he’s never shown and he has the most extraordinary ...

Rome’s New Mission

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Early Christianity, 2 June 2011

Christians and Pagans: The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede 
by Malcolm Lambert.
Yale, 329 pp., £30, September 2010, 978 0 300 11908 4
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... man brandishing an axe depicted on the reverse side of a cross-slab from Craigton near Golspie in Sutherland. Evidently, Picts saw no conflict between the two sides of that monument, for there are at least 57 surviving examples of such stones, cheerfully marrying pre-Christian and Christian iconography. These are the raw materials of Lambert’s enjoyable new ...

Seeing through Fuller

Nicholas Penny, 30 March 1989

Theoria: Art and the Absence of Grace 
by Peter Fuller.
Chatto, 260 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 7011 2942 5
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Seeing through Berger 
by Peter Fuller.
Claridge, 176 pp., £8.95, November 1988, 1 870626 75 3
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Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain. Vol. IX: Since the Second World War 
edited by Boris Ford.
Cambridge, 369 pp., £19.50, November 1988, 0 521 32765 2
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Ruskin’s Myths 
by Dinah Birch.
Oxford, 212 pp., £22.50, August 1988, 9780198128724
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The Sun is God: Painting, Literature and Mythology in the 19th Century 
edited by J.B. Bullen.
Oxford, 230 pp., £27.50, March 1989, 0 19 812884 3
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Artisans and Architects: The Ruskinian Tradition in Architectural Thought 
by Mark Swenarton.
Macmillan, 239 pp., £35, February 1989, 0 333 46460 5
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... as such? How many art students are encouraged to see themselves as the heirs of Moore, Piper, Sutherland, Nicholson and Hepworth, let alone of Reynolds, Constable or Turner? And yet we wonder why our national tradition appears so enervated.’ Reynolds, Constable and Turner were all passionately patriotic and the first two were capable of the most crass ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... reports. Among the documents, a detective inspector discovered something of interest in Patrick Armstrong’s ‘personal file’: a set of typed notes containing many handwritten amendments. In their amended form, the typed notes were an almost word-for-word match with manuscript notes of three interviews with Armstrong on 4, 5 and 6 December ...

Architectures of Containment

Clair Wills: Ireland’s Lost Children, 20 May 2021

Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes 
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Government of Ireland, 2865 pp., October 2020Show More
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... hierarchy operated even in death. In April 1955, the campaigning Catholic doctor Halliday Sutherland (an opponent of eugenics and artificial birth control) visited the mother and baby home at Tuam and the Magdalen home in Galway, run by the Sisters of Mercy. He was keen to find out how the homes operated because, he said, he was concerned about the ...

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