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Malcolm Bull

23 March 1995
Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665 
by Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat.
Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 560 pp., frs 350, September 1994, 2 7118 3027 6
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Nicolas Poussin 
by Anthony Blunt.
Pallas Athene, 690 pp., £24.95, January 1995, 1 873429 64 9
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Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665 
by Richard Verdi, with an essay by Pierre Rosenberg.
Zwemmer, 336 pp., £39.50, January 1995, 0 302 00647 8
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Roma 1630: Il trionfo del pennello 
edited by Olivier Bonfait.
Electa, 260 pp., July 1994, 88 435 5047 0
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Poussin before Rome 1594-1624 
by Jacques Thuillier.
Feigen, 119 pp., £40, January 1995, 1 873232 03 9
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The Expression of the Passions 
by Jennifer Montagu.
Yale, 256 pp., £35, October 1994, 0 300 05891 8
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L’Ecole du silence 
by Marc Fumaroli.
Flammarion, 512 pp., frs 295, May 1994, 2 08 012618 0
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To Destroy Painting 
by Louis Marin, translated by Mette Hjort.
Chicago, 196 pp., £31.95, April 1995, 0 226 50535 9
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... Paris show was the culmination of two decades of French exhibitions devoted to early 17th-century painters. It could have addressed the question of Poussin’s place in French art, but the selectors, PierreRosenberg of the Louvre and Neil MacGregor of the National Gallery, opted to avoid controversy, and simply to include the ‘most beautiful’ works. Important paintings that didn’t make the grade ...
25 June 1992
The Conquerors 
by André Malraux, translated by Stephen Becker.
Chicago, 198 pp., £8.75, December 1991, 0 226 50290 2
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The Temptation of the West 
by André Malraux, translated by Robert Hollander.
Chicago, 122 pp., £8.75, February 1992, 0 226 50291 0
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The Walnut Tree of Altenburg 
by André Malraux, translated by A.W. Fielding.
Chicago, 224 pp., £9.55, April 1992, 0 226 50289 9
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... But they belong to an honoured French literary tradition which includes Diderot, Baudelaire and the Goncourt brothers; and, like Malraux’s voluble conversation, they include remarkable insights. As PierreRosenberg, a curator at the Louvre, put it: ‘Suddenly in this torrent of words you find a sort of diamond.’ The final reproach addressed to André Malraux was that from 1945 onwards he threw in ...

The Man from Nowhere

John Sturrock: Burying André Malraux

9 August 2001
André Malraux: Une Vie 
by Olivier Todd.
Gallimard, 694 pp., frs 175, April 2001, 2 07 074921 5
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... bit of it. Those close to him know nothing about him. He was at every vernissage and in every avant-garde coterie. Everyone knew of him in the rowdy village of the late Apollinaire, [André] Salmon, [Pierre?] Rosenberg etc, holding forth on negro art, Greenlandish metaphysics and the day after tomorrow’s literature – but as to his means, his past, his family, as well look on the moon. Oh charm of ...

Yellow Sky, Red Sea, Violet Sands

Richard Wollheim: Nicolas De Staël

24 July 2003
Nicolas de Staël 
by Jean-Paul Ameline et al.
Centre Pompidou, 252 pp., €39.90, March 2003, 2 84426 158 2
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... and for a period of time saw each other at least once a week. For Staël, Braque was ‘the greatest living painter in the world’. A conversation of January 1950, reported by Staël’s friend Pierre Lecuire, does something to attenuate, or at least to account for, the seemingly paradoxical character of Staël’s commitment to abstraction. ‘Look,’ he said, pointing to a glue-pot and an ...
30 September 1999
Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... conferences. Stravinsky, Samuel Barber, Arthur Honegger, among others, participated. Prizes and awards were distributed, only occasionally earning the well-deserved anger of mavericks like Pierre Boulez, who denounced Nabokov and his fellow conspirators with healthy insults about their dishonesty and mediocrity. Saunders estimates that $200 million were spent in the effort, wherever possible ...

Makeshiftness

Barry Schwabsky: Who is Menzel?

17 April 2003
Menzel’s Realism: Art and Embodiment in 19th-Century Berlin 
by Michael Fried.
Yale, 313 pp., £35, September 2002, 0 300 09219 9
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... art critics, aside from those who were primarily artists, have been writers who’ve taken art on as a sideline. Even the rival giants of American art criticism when Fried was a young man, Harold Rosenberg and Fried’s own mentor Clement Greenberg, started out wanting to be all-round literati before becoming specialists in the fine arts; but Fried, who was one of the first wave of art critics to have ...

Addicted to Unpredictability

James Wood: Knut Hamsun

26 November 1998
Knut Hamsun. Selected Letters. Vol. II: 1898-1952 
edited by Harald Næss and James McFarlane.
Norvik, 351 pp., £14.95, April 1998, 1 870041 13 5
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Hunger 
by Knut Hamsun, translated by Sverre Lyngstad.
Rebel Inc, 193 pp., £6.99, October 1996, 0 86241 625 6
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... received tributes only from Goebbels and from a crowd of lesser German writers who are now forgotten outside Germany. In 1939, for his 80th birthday, he received tributes only from Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg – and Hitler. This new edition of his letters, finely selected and edited by Harald Næss and James McFarlane, allows us to judge Hamsun’s entire life and work. He was born in 1859 and grew up in ...

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