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7 April 1994
Only Connect: Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance 
by John Shearman.
Princeton, 281 pp., £35, October 1992, 0 691 09972 3
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... but she is nude, not naked. Her pose is irreconcilable with the efficient performance of the act in question and her grace is hardly compatible with so low and ludicrous a subject. In Only Connect JohnShearman also objects to this theory, not for prudish reasons but on technical grounds: Velásquez ‘has not given us the geometrical information that would allow such a calculation to be made ...
17 March 1983
The Rare Art Traditions 
by Joseph Alsop.
Thames and Hudson, 691 pp., £30, November 1982, 0 500 23359 4
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... it properly at customs. There was a fine to pay, set at the market value of the picture. The legality of the picture’s export from Italy was raised. Meanwhile, the attribution to Raphael made by JohnShearman, the prominent Raphael scholar who was then at the Courtauld Institute, was widely challenged, sometimes in very strong terms. And then the picture had to be returned to Italy. It must have ...
3 September 1987
Mantegna 
by Ronald Lightbown.
Phaidon/Christie’s, 512 pp., £60, July 1986, 0 7148 8031 0
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The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo Rediscovered 
edited by Massimo Giacometti, translated by Paul Holberton.
Muller, Blond and White, 271 pp., £40, September 1986, 0 584 11140 1
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... editorial professionals from Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan’ for simultaneous consumption in eight different countries. In particular, there is a very full and clear account by JohnShearman of the complex building history of the chapel, its liturgical function, the programme of the 15th-century decorations, and of Raphael’s tapestries. There is also an article by Michael ...

Signs of spring

Anthony Grafton

10 June 1993
The Portrayal of Love: Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ and Humanist Culture at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent 
by Charles Dempsey.
Princeton, 173 pp., £35, December 1992, 0 691 03207 6
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... so much a product of the high philology of the humanists as a record of the high art of Renaissance social life. The major single piece of progress has consisted in a documentary discovery made by JohnShearman and Webster Smith. They showed that the painting originally hung not in the villa of Castello, which belonged after 1477 or 1478 to Lorenzo’s cousin, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici ...

Scrum down

Paul Smith

14 November 1996
Making Men: Rugby and Masculine Identity 
edited by John​ Nauright and Timothy Chandler.
Cass, 260 pp., £35, April 1996, 0 7146 4637 7
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... Though citing the suggestion that for South Africans ‘the rugby scrum was symbolic of the laager,’ John Nauright and Timothy Chandler enter the reservation that ‘such notions can be taken too far.’ Indeed they can. An inward-facing huddle of wagons, their occupants locked in some obscure struggle ...

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