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Nicholas Penny: Caravaggio in the Studio

10 August 2000
Caravaggio 
by Catherine Puglisi.
Phaidon, 448 pp., £24.95, May 2000, 0 7148 3966 3
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Caravaggio’s Secrets 
by Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit.
MIT, 118 pp., £18.50, September 1998, 0 262 02449 7
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by Peter Robb.
Bloomsbury, 567 pp., £25, January 2000, 0 7475 4599 5
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Quoting Caravaggio: Contemporary Art, Preposterous History 
by Mieke Bal.
Chicago, 305 pp., £28.50, October 1999, 0 226 03556 5
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Doubting Thomas: A Novel About Caravaggio 
by Atle Naess, translated by Anne Born.
Owen, 159 pp., £14.95, June 2000, 0 7206 1082 6
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Caravaggio: A Life 
by Helen Langdon.
Pimlico, 447 pp., £15, November 1999, 9780712665827
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... also by Robb) is reminiscent of the way art historians used to like to hint at some mysterious connection between Cubism and the Theory of Relativity. We know a great deal about Caravaggio’s Rome. HelenLangdon’s biography is especially rich in new research and she is as informative on the intellectual and cultural interests of Cardinal del Monte as on the notions of ‘honour’ that provoked ...

Make Something Happen!

Julian Bell: Paint Serious, Paint Big

2 December 2010
Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness and Magic 
by Helen Langdon, Xavier Salomon and Caterina Volpi.
Paul Holberton, 240 pp., £40, September 2010, 978 1 907372 01 8
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Painting for Profit: The Economic Lives of 17th-Century Italian Painters 
by Richard Spear and Philip Sohm et al.
Yale, 384 pp., £45, 0 300 15456 9
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Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane 
by Andrew Graham-Dixon.
Allen Lane, 514 pp., £30, July 2010, 978 0 7139 9674 6
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The Moment of Caravaggio 
by Michael Fried.
Princeton, 304 pp., £34.95, 0 691 14701 9
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... whose territory he tried to step on, such as Claude or Guido Reni; before them, his efforts fall apart.) The curators might nonetheless argue that the disparity is entertaining. The man described in HelenLangdon’s catalogue essay – and, more fully, in Jonathan Scott’s 1995 biography – is loud, deplorable, disarming. Before settling in Rome in 1649 at the age of 34, Rosa had trained in his ...

Into the Second Term

R.W. Johnson: New Labour

5 April 2001
Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour 
by Andrew Rawnsley.
Hamish Hamilton, 434 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 241 14029 3
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Mandelson and the Making of New Labour 
by Donald Macintyre.
HarperCollins, 638 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 00 653062 1
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Mo Mowlam: The Biography 
by Julia Langdon.
Little, Brown, 324 pp., £16.99, September 2000, 0 316 85304 6
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Ann Widdecombe: Right from the Beginning 
by Nicholas Kochan.
Politico’s, 302 pp., September 2000, 1 902301 55 2
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The Paymaster: Geoffrey Robinson, Maxwell and New Labour 
by Tom Bower.
Simon and Schuster, 272 pp., £17.99, March 2001, 0 7432 0689 4
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The Future of Politics 
by Charles Kennedy.
HarperCollins, 235 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 00 710131 7
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... Maxwell and (the intimately connected) Geoffrey Robinson, many more are encompassed by the allegations he raises – it is not just a matter of Peter Mandelson but of Bernard Donoghue, Gordon Brown, Helen Liddell, Alistair Campbell and Charlie Whelan. Stephen Byers and Robinson are currently trying to prevent the sale of Bower’s book, but one would like to hear how others mentioned here respond. Of ...

Roaring Boy

Adam Phillips: Hart Crane

30 September 1999
The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane 
by Paul Mariani.
Norton, 492 pp., $35, April 1999, 0 393 04726 1
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O My Land, My Friends: The Selected Letters of Hart Crane 
edited by Langdon​ Hammer and Brom Weber.
Four Walls Eight Windows, 562 pp., $35, July 1997, 0 941423 18 2
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... he was after in his idiosyncratic theology, to counter the smug pessimism of what he calls, as if for emphasis, Eliot’s The Waste Lands. In his first great poem, ‘For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen’, it is clear that he knows what he wants – ‘Brazen hypnotics glitter here’ – which necessarily involves Faustianly not quite knowing what he is doing: Greet naively – yet intrepidly New ...

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