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Sunflower

Peter Burke, 20 March 1986

Velazquez: Painter and Courtier 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 322 pp., £35, March 1986, 0 300 03466 0
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El Greco and his Patrons: Three Major Projects 
by Richard Mann.
Cambridge, 164 pp., £35, February 1986, 0 521 30392 3
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... that it included a copy of that indispensable guide to survival and success in the presence of a prince, Castiglione’s Courtier. Whether he needed Castiglione’s advice or not, Velazquez was certainly a success at the court of Philip IV. Indeed, from our point of view he might be described as too much of a success, for as Brown well shows, from the early ...

Smart Girls

Emma Tennant, 17 July 1980

‘Clever Gretchen’ and Other Forgotten Folktales 
by Alison Luire.
Heinemann, 128 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 434 94899 3
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... and goes wandering in a countryside devastated by war. Finding herself in the castle of her lost prince’s betrothed, a sinfully ugly bride who sprains her ankle on the wedding-day, Maid Maleen exchanges identity with her and goes, protected by the veil, to the church. Nettles in the path are instructed to recognise Maleen as the true wife; the ...

Poor Khaled

Robert Fisk, 3 December 1992

... Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, commander-in-chief of all foreign forces in the Gulf War, nephew of King Fahd, and son of the Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Sultan, used to employ an American public relations company to manage his press conferences. Deep in the high-pile carpeted interior of the Saudi Ministry of Defence, an Irish-American of massive build – a certain Mr Lynch from Chicago – would stand just behind Prince Khaled, choosing which journalists should be permitted to ask questions and suggesting to the rather portly Saudi commander how he should reply ...

An Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Peter Hallward: An interview with Haiti's former president, 22 February 2007

... Aristide was a parish priest working in an impoverished and embattled district of Port-au-Prince. He became the spokesman of a growing popular movement against the series of military regimes that ruled Haiti after the collapse in 1986 of the Duvalier dictatorship. In 1990 he won the country’s first democratic presidential election, with 67 per cent ...

Spot the Gull

Peter Campbell: The Academy of the Lincei, 20 March 2003

The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History 
by David Freedberg.
Chicago, 513 pp., £35, December 2002, 0 226 26147 6
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... of Federico Cesi, along with his library and scientific collections. In 1603, Cesi (eventually Prince of Acquasparta), then 18 years old, founded a body he called the Academy of the Lincei. Although the Academy is now remembered (if at all) because Cesi became Galileo’s devoted and ardent supporter, the energies of its members were directed as much ...
... fanfare, like an elephant cry. At nightfall in this quarry a few kilometres outside Avignon, Peter Brook’s staging of Jean-Claude Carrière’s adaptation of The Mahabharata begins. Wisdom-book and story-repository, fifteen times the size of the Bible, The Mahabharata was written in Sanskrit, but the words you hear are French, spoken with a piquant ...

Diary

Vesna Goldsworthy: In Montenegro, 17 February 2000

... was Europe’s closest approximation to Tibet – a theocracy, ruled by celibate orthodox prince-bishops selected from the boys of the Njegusi tribe, who live in the stony valleys south of the former capital, Cetinje. The last of the prince-bishops and the greatest Romantic poet in the Balkans was Petar II ...

On Nicholas Moore

Peter Howarth: Nicholas Moore, 24 September 2015

... what poetry always does. So the singing clowns who fail to amuse Baudelaire’s bored young prince reappear in Moore as Elvis, Charlie Chaplin, Dylan Thomas, Louis Armstrong, Brenda Lee or Spike Milligan. It’s now the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis, Biafra, Mosley and the fashionable dramas of ‘Kitchen-Sink Sade-Marats’ whose atrocious crimes fail to ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: London 1753, 25 September 2003

... goes there,’ Horace Walpole reported. ‘You can’t set your foot without treading on a Prince, or Duke of Cumberland.’ These colourful pleasures are shown in black and white, for this is an exhibition dominated by engravings. Reynolds’s portrait of Garrick being tugged right and left by Comedy and Tragedy is here, but as a ...

At Chantilly

Peter Campbell: Horses, 21 September 2006

... than the 19th-century château itself. They were built to a design by Jean Aubert for the seventh prince de Condé in the early 1700s. He believed he would be reincarnated as a horse. That story, which wanders from guidebook to guidebook, seems to offer as good an insight as one is going to get into the prince’s mind. In ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: James Gillray, 21 June 2001

... matter waiting every morning to be chopped and shaped keeps the old knives bright. Napoleon, the Prince of Wales and any number of politicians (some of whom, like Canning, eagerly solicited an appearance in his prints) all collected cartoons – and politicians’ offices and lavatories today are decorated with them. The cartoonist is condemned to chastise a ...

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Peter Campbell: David Wilkie, 31 October 2002

... for the financier John Julius Angerstein (who paid 800 guineas) The Village Holiday; for the Prince Regent Blind Man’s Buff (finished 1813). Wilkie became an associate and then a member of the Royal Academy while very young; he was knighted and made a painter to the King. He was well-rewarded as a portraitist. Personally he was unprepossessing. This ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Turner's Rigi watercolours, 8 March 2007

... glaciers. The discordant presence of the English tourists becomes central to the story when the prince is shocked by the meanness of the smart, rich English, listening on the hotel balcony but giving no money to the itinerant musician who sings to them about climbing Mount Rigi. Turner, illustrator of travel books as well as painter, benefited from the ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Holbein, 19 October 2006

... craftsmanship of his rendering of detail tends to mask. It is as though the spirit of a prince-painter, like Titian, were trammelled by the rich burden of a craftsman’s skills and ...

Crotchet Castles

Peter Campbell, 6 December 1984

William Kent 
by Michael Wilson.
Routledge, 276 pp., £30, July 1984, 0 7100 9983 5
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James Gibbs 
by Terry Friedman.
Yale, 362 pp., £40, November 1984, 0 300 03172 6
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Sir John Soane, Architect 
by Dorothy Stroud.
Faber, 300 pp., £32, May 1984, 9780571130504
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The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable 
by Graham Reynolds.
Yale, 880 pp., £140, October 1984, 0 300 03151 3
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... universal extra-professional unpopularity of architects (what other Royal Institution could the Prince of Wales put the boot into with such sure expectation of applause?) is no new phenomenon. Distrust of the man who knows what you want better than you know it yourself goes back at least as far as the 17th century. Roger North, an amateur architect whose ...

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