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15 March 1984
The Art of Humanism 
by Kenneth Clark.
Murray, 198 pp., £12.50, October 1983, 0 7195 4077 1
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The Eloquence of Symbols: Studies in Humanist Art 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 135 pp., £25, January 1984, 0 19 817341 5
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... In the last forty years Kenneth Clark did more than anyone else to create an interest in the art of Renaissance Italy, but EdgarWind had a much greater influence on the way in which this art has been studied. Both men were outstanding lecturers and gifted writers, and both, in very different ways, were influenced by the work of ...


Pat Rogers

6 November 1986
Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... art theory? You get ringing in your ears when you read Norman Bryson, and fear you have caught Ménière’s disease off the page? Do not despair. There is a remedy. The second posthumous volume of EdgarWind’s essays outdoes even its sumptuous predecessor in intellectual glitter and academic burnishing. Only 120 large pages of text, but they come with 124 plates; in the ratio of historical weight ...


Anthony Grafton: Warburg

1 April 1999
... law part of anthropology and put science and magic together, and by doing so shattered many traditional assumptions about the independence of intellectual disciplines. Ernst Cassirer, Erwin Panofsky, EdgarWind and many others who joined the new university in Hamburg in the Twenties did remarkable research work here before 1933, when the Institute’s members fled, along with its books, to London ...

Goddesses and Girls

Nicholas Penny

2 December 1982
... that some narratives are simply narratives. Renaissance artists did often delight in riddles, and sometimes perhaps in arcane mysteries, but the impressive detective work of scholars such as EdgarWind which has been so extensively imitated is now recognised as often inappropriate. It helps to read Ovid (Titian himself seems to have used translations), but there is no need to read Hermes ...

Rabbits Addressed by a Stoat

Stefan Collini: Émigré Dons

12 July 2017
Ark of Civilisation: Refugee Scholars and Oxford University, 1930-45 
edited by Sally Crawford, Katharina Ulmschneider and Jaś Elsner.
Oxford, 396 pp., £75, March 2017, 978 0 19 968755 8
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... institution as well as the scholars to whom it gave shelter, were substantial and long-lasting. For example, ‘when Oxford established its chair of the history of art in 1955, the two candidates – EdgarWind and Otto Pächt – were both Jewish refugee scholars’: in terms of schools or approaches, Oxford was choosing between Hamburg and Vienna. Or again: ‘When an Italian scholar was asked in the ...

Botticelli and the Built-in Bed

Anthony Grafton: The Italian Renaissance

2 April 1998
Behind the Picture: Art and Evidence in Italian Renaissance 
by Martin Kemp.
Yale, 304 pp., £25, November 1997, 0 300 07195 7
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... I. Only an art history that recognised the claims of Renaissance artists to a new status could do justice to the innovative nature of their work. From the Thirties to the Sixties, Panofsky, Gombrich, EdgarWind and many others created an art history of exactly this kind – one that directed much of its attention to the erudite programmes Renaissance artists had realised in both religious and secular ...
12 November 1987
The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age 
by Simon Schama.
Collins, 698 pp., £19.95, September 1987, 9780002178013
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... an exemplary sensitivity to stereotyping. It is his handling of images which sometimes makes me uneasy. Iconography is a notoriously controversial art. The confidence of the age of Erwin Panofsky and EdgarWind has given way to doubt and conflict. In no area is this latterday dispute between iconoclasts and iconodules so vigorous or so sharp as in the field of 17th-century Dutch art, long taken to be a ...

Looking at the Ceiling

T.J. Clark: A Savonarolan Bonfire

22 September 2005
The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art 
by Malcolm Bull.
Allen Lane, 465 pp., £30, April 2005, 9780713992007
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... customarily used.’ In general, intercourse with humanists was probably sparse, and largely unhelpful. The demands of actual patrons were crude, and easily fulfilled without the aid of large books. EdgarWind remarks towards the end of his Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance – the kind of study of the subject Bull is determined not to write – that the modern art historian’s great armoury of ...
8 January 1987
... Like forty years ago; and at dawn she ’ll re-tell, re-live, forgive each aging antic. All right, it’s comedy; but the comedy’s high You must admit: palazzo, contessa, and I. Hear how the north wind batters at the pane! A spot of grog’s the thing for nights like this – Not too much seltzer. Sailors on the main Have grog for birthdays – victories – and Christmas – And I’m a sailor ...

Neutered Valentines

David Bromwich: James Agee

7 September 2006
‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, ‘A Death in the Family’, Shorter Fiction 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 818 pp., $35, October 2005, 1 931082 81 2
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Film Writing and Selected Journalism 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 748 pp., $40, October 2005, 1 931082 82 0
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Brooklyn Is 
by James Agee.
Fordham, 64 pp., $16.95, October 2005, 0 8232 2492 9
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... girls, two boys together; and meditate, or talk inaudibly; on benches, men without colour sit apart from one another in silence. A girl bounces a fat ball on the cement over and over and over. The wind is freshening and the sloped light is turning gold. Birds speak with each other in the hushed leaves and in the wind there are the soft calls of children, but these noises are blown by the wind and ...

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Hugh Barnes

21 February 1985
So Much Love 
by Beryl Reid.
Hutchinson, 195 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 09 155730 5
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Knock wood 
by Candice Bergen.
Hamish Hamilton, 223 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780241113585
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... There are two funerals on the first three pages, her pet tortoise’s and, a quarter of a century later, her father’s. On the second occasion Ronald Reagan gave the memorial address. Her father was Edgar Bergen, whose ventriloquist dummy, Charlie Macarthy, was the star of American radio before the war. The early chapters, which deal with the triangular relationship between father, daughter and wooden ...


Arthur Gavshon

6 June 1985
The Falklands War: Lessons for Strategy, Diplomacy and International Law 
edited by Alberto Coll and Anthony Arend.
Allen and Unwin, 252 pp., £18, May 1985, 0 04 327075 1
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... Edgar Snow, the famous American foreign correspondent, once asked Mao Tse-tung for his appraisal of the social implications of the French Revolution. Mao reflected a while and then, shaking his head, said ...

Getting on

Joyce Carol Oates

12 January 1995
Colored People: A Memoir 
by Henry Louis Gates.
Viking, 216 pp., £16, January 1995, 0 670 85737 8
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... up black in urban areas at roughly the same time published – remarkably, in the same year – by the gifted black writers Brent Staples (Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White) and John Edgar Wideman (Fatheralong: A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and Society). One wonders what Gates’s fate might have been if he had been born in a black urban ghetto, and not in Piedmont, West ...

Veni, Vidi, Vichy

Jean-Pierre Chapelas

9 March 1995
Une Jeunesse française: François Mitterrand 1934-1947 
by Pierre Péan.
Fayard, 615 pp., frs 160, September 1994, 2 213 59300 0
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... hard right, ambitious, intelligent, fond of disguises, fully determined from the start to work for the greater glory of François Mitterrand. But with one ‘gap’, as it were, through which the wind from the left could come gusting in, that same left which in his young days our hero had so vigorously rejected. This boy from the South-West, educated in private schools and later a student in Paris ...


Craig Raine

13 June 1991
Constance Garnett: A Heroic Life 
by Richard Garnett.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 402 pp., £20, March 1991, 1 85619 033 1
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... did to it in the course of translation. Versatile, even promiscuous, the capacious new-style matrioshka can also stand for what is sometimes gained in translation. For instance, the French open up Edgar Allan Poe and out pops Baudelaire. Here, what has been lost in translation – Poe’s energetic vapidity – represents an enormous gain. Equally, the new-style doll will cover plagiarism, the ...

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