This book is about a family tree: the line of descent that can be traced from Perugino in Italy in the fifteenth century to Edouard Manet in France in the nineteenth. It is not the usual kind of genealogy, of those connected by blood, more an ‘apostolic succession’, following the way in which art in Europe was taught, from one generation to the next, from 1480 to 1880. More
Giovanni Bellini's Dudley Madonna
104 pages, paperback, 300 x 245 mm, 70 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 907372 46 9
The Virgin Mary rises up like a giant Tower of Babel in a close-up view, separated from us by a slender railing along which runs the painter's signature. The Virgin appears to be sitting on a marble slab, slightly raised, and her right shoulder is thrust forward to show us her nude son.
The Madonna and Child, also known as 'Dudley Madonna', was painted in c. 1508 by Giovanni Bellini (Venice, c. 1430–1516), one of the most celebrated of Italian artists. Recognised as an important composition by Bellini in the early 20th century, for a hundred years until its sale at auction in 2010 this picture had hardly ever been seen. This book places the painting within Bellini's career and development even though he was over 75 years old when he painted it. Bellini was extraordinarily sensitive to the new generation of High Renaissance artists, responding instantly to new ideas. The publication also discusses the earlier critical fortune of the painting, explaining how it was kept out of the limelight for so long when it is clearly an autograph Bellini.
The years 1505–10 were crucial ones in Giovanni Bellini's career, and this publication examines anew the part he played in Venetian High Renaissance painting, his influence upon and response to the upcoming Giorgione, Titian and Sebastiano del Piombo. It looks in particular at the importance of the visit to the Venice of the Florentine Fra Bartolommeo in 1508, a key figure in early 16th-century Florence, who came with a wealth of important new ideas to share and disseminate. His influence on Bellini is most obviously evident in the Madonna's – for him – comparatively oblique pose.
It is not known how and when the painting came from Italy to England but it is very likely that is was acquired in Bologna by John William Ward (1781–1833) who, in 1827, became the 1st Earl of Dudley. Described by his contemporaries as a cultured and educated man, he (and later his nephew William Ward) assembled one of the most outstanding collections in 19th-century England but, although talented, tended to madness especially in his later years. The collection was broken up at the end of the 19th century and the painting, having been attributed to the obscure Rocco Marconi by Berenson, was kept in a private collection in a country house in Wiltshire.
Antonio Mazzotta was Pidem Curatorial Assistant at the National Gallery, London, between 2008 and 2010, and he curated the exhibition, Titian's First Masterpiece: The Flight into Egypt, at the National Gallery, London, 4 April – 19 August 2012.
Anyone writing about a work of art needs to establish at the outset how much it has changed since it was first made. This simple, informative and practical book, full of fascinating and revelatory photography, will take the reader through both the techniques and media of art and the techniques and media of its investigation and restoration. More
OUT OF STOCK: The group of about one hundred French bronzes in the Wallace Collection is justly considered one of the finest such collections in the world. Fifty-one of the best are featured in this book, the first in-depth study of the subject in English. More
Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the opening of the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow in 2007, this book provides a full study both of William Hunter - the many-faceted surgeon/connoisseur - and of his collection of art, which not only contains a number of outstanding masterpieces, such as a Rembrandt, but also provides a revealing snapshot of the taste of the period. While illuminating this crucial transitional period in British art, the book is at the same time a catalogue of the Hunterian collection. More
Since the early Bronze Age the sword has been a sign of wealth, status and the power of divine right. Yet, before the sixteenth century the sword was almost never carried on the person in everyday life. It was a rare, noble weapon, carried into battle by the aristocratic warrior class but set aside in time of peace. However, the increasing prominence of the Renaissance middle classes brought a fundamental change to the sword's place in society. Now large numbers of non-noble but often wealthy and upwardly mobile people could also afford rich things like fine clothes, jewelry and weapons. More
OUT OF PRINT: Accompanying an exhibition that promises to be the most comprehensive survey of Indian painting that the West has ever seen, this beautiful two volume catalogue spans 800 years of Indian painting, and some 240 masterpieces by more than 40 artists. These great Indian masters are unquestionably the equals of Dürer, Michelangelo or Vermeer. More
Seldom has there been a gift of equal magnificence. In 1947 the 7th Duke of Wellington presented to the nation his London residence – Apsley House – together with a large part of its contents, the collection of the 1st Duke. Among the paintings are some of the finest canvases from the Spanish Royal Collection, captured by the 1st Duke of Wellington from Joseph Bonaparte in 1813. There are also important seventeenth-century Dutch paintings bought by the 1st Duke himself, as well as a series of French and British portraits of his illustrious contemporaries and depictions of battle scenes, which provide a visual record of the Napoleonic period. More
Celebrating the Beckett Centenary. Awarded third prize by The Art Newspaper/Axa Art Prize for best catalogue of the year published in the UK - "admired for the quantity of new material it presented about Beckett himself and the worlds of literature and visual arts". More
The Unesco World Heritage site of Lalibela in Ethiopia is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It contains eleven churches, all of them hewn from the native rock in imitation of buildings. However, Lalibela and the Ethiopian kingdom remained unknown in the West until the account of the first Portugese embassy to Ethiopia was published in the 16th century. More
The Harold Samuel Collection is a unique collection of 17th-century paintings from Holland’s Golden Age. Bequeathed to the City of London in 1987 by Lord Samuel of Wych Cross (1912-1987), a wealthy property developer and philanthropist, this remarkable collection of 84 works – the finest collection of Dutch and Flemish art assembled privately in the UK in the last hundred years – enriches the splendour of the interior of the Mansion House, residence of the Lord Mayor of London. More
Accompanying a focused display at The Courtauld Gallery that will bring together for the first time Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s only three known grisaille paintings, this book will examine the sources, function and reception of these three exquisite masterpieces. The panels will be complemented by prints and contemporary replicas, as well by other independent grisailles in order to shed light on the development of this genre in Northern Europe. More