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Contre Goncourt

Francis Haskell, 18 March 1982

Painting in l8th-Century France 
by Philip Conisbee.
Phaidon, 224 pp., £20, October 1981, 0 7148 2147 0
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Word and Image: French Painting of the Ancien Régime 
by Norman Bryson.
Cambridge, 281 pp., £27.50, January 1982, 0 521 23776 9
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... do not keep their ears uncomfortably close to the ground. There have been hints, of course – but Philip Conisbee’s book is in fact the first to bring to a wide public the new interpretation of French painting in the 18th century that has been quietly gaining ground behind the scenes. Norman Bryson, in a work which will necessarily be much less ...

Under the Brush

Peter Campbell: Ingres-flesh, 4 March 1999

Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch 
edited by Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee.
Abrams, 500 pp., £55, January 1999, 0 300 08653 9
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Velázquez: The Technique of Genius 
by Jonathan Brown and Carmen Garrido.
Yale, 213 pp., £29.95, November 1998, 0 300 07293 7
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... The exhibition at the National Gallery of Ingres’s portraits is both lavish and comprehensive. It also insists that you come to a conclusion about him. To be offered something as complete as this and not sort out your ideas would be slovenly. Which is not to say that it’s easy. The pictures are brilliantly painted, intensely pleasurable – and oppressive ...

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