Books

Reviews of significant publications. Plus, in the Book Shorts section, a series of short notices about noteworthy books

Feature
Photography

Edward Woodman: the light and space of a golden era

UK retrospective freeze-frames often ephemeral works from the 1980s and 1990s

News
Michelangelo

Rothschild Bronzes definitely by Michelangelo, new book claims

Pair of nude males, acquired by the family in 1877, last sold at auction in 2002

Preview
Books

A love letter to a grittier, punk-accented New York

Chris Stein, Blondie co-founder, presents a book of photographs from the 1970s and 80s

Preview
Books

Witches, cannibals and murderers: the stories behind some of the Musée d’Orsay’s most violent works of art

In his new book The Orsay Murder Club, the art historian Christos Markogiannakis examines the horrors of the Paris museum’s collection

Review
Books

A monumental study of the heyday of Historicist painting

This comprehensive volume looks at a genre popular in 19th-century Europe but long scorned in the art world

Latest in Book Shorts

Books

Book delves into the Rothschild collection of bizarre objects associated with death and dying

Books

First book on art collection of the draughtsman and cult figure Edward Gorey

Books

Philippe Costamagna’s combination of autobiography, anecdote and single discovery told in his own words

Books

Sidney Knafel's collection of French 16th- to 18th-century faïence promised to the Frick Collection

Books

Renaissance prints as sources of images for maiolica and bronze reliefs

Podcast

Gainsborough murder mystery. Plus, RoseLee Goldberg on performance art

We travel back to the 18th century and delve into the grisly family murders that helped Gainsborough gain fame. Plus, RoseLee Goldberg tell us all about her new book Performance Now: Live Art for the 21st century. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

Review
Books

Jackson Pollock's art gets lost in academic theory in new book

This scholarly overview of the artist’s work is modishly opaque

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Books

Reputations redeemed by art: two books examine what made Charles I and II great collectors but bad rulers

Despite the failings of the Stuart kings, their art collections stand in their favour, as exhibitions in the UK this year have shown

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Books

Chicago’s art history, revised

An essay collection illuminates a rich and, ultimately, countercultural legacy

Review
Books

Otto Marseus van Schrieck: introducing the inventor of the 'forest-floor' still-life

This splendid book uncovers the Dutch painter who brought the lowliest creatures of the forest ecosystem to life

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Books

Prefab(ulous): the story of an 18th-century chapel made entirely in Rome for a church in Lisbon

This fascinating survey offers both detailed commentary and lavish illustrations

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Books

Telling us why and how: a groundbreaking study of Veronese’s techniques and paintings

These two books—very different in approach—analyse the process and works of the Italian Renaissance painter

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Books

Henry I of Haiti: the little-known story of a king and his amazing building spree

A short but fascinating book about a man immortalised through architecture

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Books

The tortuous story of Gustav Klimt’s Nazi-looted, 100ft-wide Beethoven Frieze uncovered

New book exploring work's provenance is a must-read for those interested in the contentious field of art restitution

Review
Books

Potty about pictures: ancient Athenian vases are an important historical resource—but this book fails to deliver

Large gaps in the material and a lack of thorough explanation make this volume less useful than it could be

News
Artists

Jasper Johns show and catalogue raisonné open Menil Collection’s new Drawing Institute

The 88-year-old artist, who gets the institute’s inaugural show, was deeply involved in the drawings catalogue project

Review
Books

Very much an acquired taste: how did so many Italian baroque paintings end up in US museums?

Book provides a sampling of personalities, acquisition strategies and collections that many Europeans may not know

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Books

Picture perfect: a 'sumptuous' book on Pre-Raphaelite stained glass

While its terminology is unsteady, the scholarship and production values of this sequel volume are exceptional

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Books

How to force historians to use their eyes: book urges academics to 'take art more seriously'

Princeton University's Theodore K. Rabb says more visual materials—not only written records—should be explored

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Books

Many pictures but no big picture: book struggles to capture the extraordinary life of Harald Szeemann

Volume on pioneering curator takes an admiring, rather than a critically analytical, approach

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Books

Pull up a pew: vast volume surveys church cabinetmaking in 17th- and 18th-century Austria

Illuminating historical overviews and a mass of documentary research covers an under-studied subject

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Books

Thinking with pictures: how images were used for philosophical thinking in the Early Modern period

A rich and fascinating book on what can rightly be called the art of philosophy

Review
Books

A Käthe Kollwitz renaissance is under way (and about time, too)

A pair of publications shed new light on profoundly socially committed artist

Blog
In the frame

Baring all: undiscovered Kate Moss revealed in new Mario Sorrenti book

Review
Books

Before gardens had capabilities: book explores English landscaping in the 17th and early 18th centuries

After “Capability” Brown’s tercentenary in 2016, this volume looks at the places the landscape architect is often accused of destroying

Review
Books

Cottaging—an acquired taste? New book looks at England’s once-popular Cottage Orné style

An enlightening survey on the story of English architecture and the quintessential country house

Blog
In the frame

An artistic cookbook for the next generation

Blog
In the frame

Lacma’s new Collator platform allows visitors to create their own catalogues

News
Vincent Van Gogh

Revealed: Van Gogh's failed attempt at art dealing

New book argues that artist bought Japanese prints “not for pleasure but to deal in them”

Review
Books

Drawing the mercurial mind: book poses Michelangelo’s draughtsmanship as the key to his life and works

Volume produced for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition of the artist is "a lasting contribution to scholarship"

News
Obituaries

‘Believing is seeing’: Tom Wolfe on Modern art

The novelist and journalist was also an outspoken art critic

News
Frieze New York

The best new books to buy at the Frieze bookstore

For those looking for something a little more pocket-sized to take home from the fair

News
Artists

Modernist artist Paul Feiler’s legacy reassessed in new shows and publications

The German-born artist was a key member of the St Ives artistic community—but why does his work matter?

Review
Books

Rodin revealed as daring experimenter in centenary book

More than just bronzes, this collection of essays captures 100 years of scholarship on the 19th century's most famous sculptor

Review
Books

Books essay: naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian was a woman in a man’s world

Her work straddles the territories of art and science, bugs and flowers

Podcast

Podcast episode 24: Mural-gazing with the Dalai Lama, plus Michael Rakowitz

We speak to Thomas Laird about his new book on the murals of Tibet and to Michael Rakowitz about his fourth plinth commission unveiled next week

Review
Books

The commercial rape of Venice is the result of a moral failing in the Italians

This is the view of a former Getty chief, who says the problems of the Serenissima are a paradigm for other historic cities

Review
Books

Peter Wilson: The man who invented modern auctioneering

Buccaneering, brilliant, art-loving—he created the power of Sotheby’s (and Christie’s learned by imitation)

Blog
The Buck stopped here

Kindred collage spirits John Stezaker and Georgie Hopton talk the dark side of the art form

News
Photography

Richard Avedon Foundation releases growing list of more than 200 ‘errors’ in unauthorised biography

Publisher’s lawyer says the foundation has provided “no evidence” and that memoir is a “subjective genre”

News
Art market

Author Don Thompson takes issue with 'the last Leonardo' tagline and casts 2018 market predictions

$450m Salvator Mundi sale too late to be included in new book, The Orange Balloon Dog, but would have filled several chapters, economist says

Review
Books

Flipping, freeports and fakers: the commodification of fine art

Second volume of Georgina Adam’s analysis of the art market looks at the darker side of the trade

Review
Books

How to read a Twombly

New book asks if late US artist’s work should be read literally or literarily

Review
Books

Histories of 16th-century French art have overlooked manuscript illumination—until now

New book is fruit of a lifetime’s research by the late Getty curator Myra Orth

Review
Books

How offsets on arms sales into Abu Dhabi have helped finance its Louvre

A French study of the Gulf museums sees them as the Versailles of the sheikhs—a step towards autocracy

News
Pacific Standard Time

Antena Los Ángeles: the secret engine behind Pacific Standard Time's bilingual outreach

The collective is helping art venues access a Spanish-speaking audience with translation services

News
Exhibitions

Richard Avedon and James Baldwin's book on American identity revisited

A New York gallery show and new publication draw fresh attention to little known collaboration between the fashion photographer and African-American writer

Feature
Podcast

Podcast episode five: what's the story behind the $100m Leonardo?

What will happen when the only painting in private hands by the Renaissance master heads to auction? Plus: the New Museum's big new show on gender, and our literary editor talks 18th-century princesses

News

Bibliophiles rejoice: New York Art Book Fair returns this weekend

Hundreds of exhibitors are due to take part and a slew of events are planned

Review

An imitation, not a copy: Richard Shiff on what Bridget Riley learned from Georges Seurat

Riley had a formative encounter with the Pointillist's work early in her career

Review
Robert Rauschenberg

The hell of modern media: on Robert Rauschenberg's Dante series

A new book on the drawings synthesises a range of information, but leaves certain questions unanswered

Review
Gerhard Richter

Protean- rich: on the Gerhard Richter catalogue raisonné

The latest volume reveals Gerhard Richter’s variable but not always successful styles

Review

Lime, sand and animal hair: on 18th-century British interiors

There was an extraordinary flowering of stucco decoration in the period at hand

Review
Exhibitions

Visions of 18th-century France: how the Goncourt brothers taught America about Rococo

A focused show in Washington, DC, looks at why US collectors had a passion for French painting

Review

Art critic Michael Fried’s new poems dwell on past love, childhood—and his predilection for high Modernism

The poet draws parallels between making sculpture and writing verse

Review

First renowned, then overlooked, now rediscovered: on Edme Bouchardon

The artist worked with obsessional care, but only now is his versatility being recognised

Review
Books

Abstraction in reverse: how Latin American Modernists changed how we see

The art historian Alexander Alberro explains how action and participation drove new forms of art

Review

Towering triumph: on the scholarly resurrection of Joseph de Levis

The Renaissance bronze-founder has been brought back to life by scholarly research

Review

A panoply of plastic poses: on Emma Hamilton

A new book explores her extraordinary personal and social transformations

Review

The parrot point of view: on Edward Lear's natural history studies

Such works were the basis of his later landscapes

Review

The Donald Trump style of art history

The greatest works of Western art vindicate the US president’s ideas of democracy, according to his senior director for strategic assessments

Review
Exhibitions

Vermeer and the masters of genre painting

The Dutch painter and his contemporaries could not resist the temptation to improve one another's compositions

Review

Banking and benevolence: on the Rothschild family

A century and a half of generosity is recorded in a wide-ranging history of the family

Review

Circumstantial evidence clinches the case: how careful archaeology corrects misunderstandings

A new book will undoubtedly change the way we talk and think about Early Cycladic objects

Review

A bottomless repository of culture: on illuminated Medieval manuscripts

There are remarkable riches to be mined from a group of new books

News
Books

What a Renaissance artist taught Freud about memory

A new book looks at the psychoanalyst’s favourite Old Master fresco—and his inability to remember the artist’s name

Review

Dissatisfactions and aspirations in pen and ink

A multifaceted artist’s monumental engagements with drawing

Review

Books in brief: arms and armour

Review

Worth the detour: on the National Gallery's lesser-known Renaissance masterpieces

Works from Bologna and Ferrara are the subject of a comprehensive new catalogue

Review

More patriarch than dictator

Their symbiotic relationship is the subject of a new book

Review

Nudity, high living, intense emotion, danger, tragedy and erotic allure

A new book looks at Roman choices of mythological subjects

Review

Let perception be your guide: how to see the Rococo

A virtual reality tour of an 18th-century German abbey

Review

The connoisseurs’ preserve needs expansion

The study of carpets has changed little since the 19th century and new approaches are needed

Review

The missing thread