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Summarising Oneself

Julian Barnes: Degas’s Vanity, 19 November 2020

The Letters of Edgar Degas 
edited by Theodore Reff.
Wildenstein Plattner Institute, 1464 pp., £150, June, 978 0 9988175 1 4
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... of the first quality’ has been reattributed to the painter’s assistant Pierre Andrieu. Theodore Reff, in his massive and resplendent edition of the letters, calculates that in the years 1898 and 1899 alone Degas spent 61,000 francs on paintings and drawings. In the same years, he was paying 656 francs per month to rent three floors on the rue ...

Late Picasso

Nicholas Penny, 20 November 1986

Je suis le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso 
edited by Arnold Glimcher and Marc Glimcher.
Thames and Hudson, 349 pp., £36, September 1986, 0 500 23461 2
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The Musèe Picasso, Paris: Catalogue of the Collections. Paintings, Papiers Collés, Picture Reliefs, Sculptures, Ceramics 
by Marie-Laure Besnard-Bernadac, Michéle Richet and Hélène Seckel.
Thames and Hudson, 315 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 500 23461 2
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Degas: The Complete Etchings, Lithographs and Monotypes 
by Jean Adhémar and Françoise Cachin.
Thames and Hudson, 290 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 500 09114 5
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... prefaced by informative and intelligent essays by eminent scholars (Robert Rosenblum in one case, Theodore Reff in the other). Nowhere else in the exhibition do we encounter the concentration of these sheets from the 1916 sketchbook, except perhaps in the near-abstract Cubist drawings in a sketchbook of 1918. But severe discipline does not disappear and ...

Seeing through Fuller

Nicholas Penny, 30 March 1989

Theoria: Art and the Absence of Grace 
by Peter Fuller.
Chatto, 260 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 7011 2942 5
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Seeing through Berger 
by Peter Fuller.
Claridge, 176 pp., £8.95, November 1988, 1 870626 75 3
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Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain. Vol. IX: Since the Second World War 
edited by Boris Ford.
Cambridge, 369 pp., £19.50, November 1988, 0 521 32765 2
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Ruskin’s Myths 
by Dinah Birch.
Oxford, 212 pp., £22.50, August 1988, 9780198128724
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The Sun is God: Painting, Literature and Mythology in the 19th Century 
edited by J.B. Bullen.
Oxford, 230 pp., £27.50, March 1989, 0 19 812884 3
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Artisans and Architects: The Ruskinian Tradition in Architectural Thought 
by Mark Swenarton.
Macmillan, 239 pp., £35, February 1989, 0 333 46460 5
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... but one that Degas was fond of claiming) and about Poussin and the Old Masters (although, as Theodore Reff has pointed out, the very improbable reference to Poussin, by whom Cézanne was in fact little influenced, was put into Cézanne’s mouth after his death). It is important to secure 19th-century artists from the distortions imposed upon them ...

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