Books

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

Review
Books

'The guardian of Vincent’s legacy': new biography details devoted life of Van Gogh's sister-in-law Jo Bonger

Bonger's encounter with Trotsky and her tireless effort to preserve the artist's work are explored in the new book by Hans Luijten

Review
Medieval art

Glam rock: alabaster was not medieval England's 'poor man's marble' new book finds

Used in high status projects and throughout the continent, Kim Woods's detailed study challenges misconceptions of the carving rock's status

Review
Books

A clever book for clever people: Marina Warner's sensitive artist essays dimmed by too many words

The brilliance of the scholar's examination of artists such as Paula Rego and Sigmar Polke is evident despite name dropping and verbose language

Review
Books

The scientific brotherhood: Pre-Raphaelite art put under the microscope

The Victorian artist group explored the connections between art and scientific observation to enhance art’s moral purpose

Review
Books

New catalogue presents virtuosity of Neo-Classicist goldsmith Luigi Valadier

Alvar González-Palacios’s book on the Italian decorator is a peak in his distinguished career

Latest in Book Shorts

Book Shorts

Stories of New Orleans's opulent cemeteries collected in unusual book of photographs

Book Shorts

Beyond Europe: book on illuminated manuscripts reveals worldwide nature of the Middle Ages

Book Shorts

The first book on official Australian art and artists in the First World War explains how the national collection was made

Book Shorts

This book of essays explores the varieties and definitions of Islamic art

Book Shorts

Old animals remind us of old people in this book of photographs

Review
Books

Fit for a king: book lays out the vast scale of the Orléans collection

The second Duke of Orléans’ assembly of his famous art collection may have been a covert preparation for seizing the throne of France

Review
Books

The Arts and Crafts special relationship: how the British movement permeated US design culture

Companion book to an exhibition at the University of Texas at Austin offers new dimensions on the vast subject

Review
Book Shorts

This book gives a first-hand account of Second World War art and propaganda

A vivid account of the art arising from the experiences of the artist, George Plante

Review
Books

How Rheims Cathedral's destruction in the First World War had a happy ending

New book explores how the burnt cathedral created a 'profound intellectual rift' between Germany and France, then reconciliation

Review
Books

Agents of faith: the art of votive offerings

Bard Graduate Center's 25th anniversary exhibition considers devotional offerings across religions

Review
Books

Michelangelo for beginners, and a new view of the master’s bronzes

Three new books offer fresh angles on the Renaissance master

Feature
Books

Book excerpt: William Kentridge reveals how Antoine Bourdelle inspired his work

In Jori Finkel's book It Speaks to Me, Kentridge discusses the sculpture in Johannesburg that first made him feel the power of art

Review
Books

What was the real purpose of the English country house library?

Mark Purcell's study explores 19th-century bibliomania and rejects the notion that books in historic libraries were "bought by the yard"

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Books

Coming out of one’s shell: new book explores overlooked mollusc art by naturalist's daughters

Martin Lister enlisted his daughters Susanna and Anna because of the unreliability of the best professional engravers

Review
Books

William Hunter and the enlightened art of science

A new publication brings together the Scottish surgeon's art collection for the first time in many years

Review
Jan Weenix

A family affair: three generations of Weenix showcased in two-volume magnum opus

The new book features newly discovered appendices, including the profligate Jan Baptist’s three-volume bankruptcy file

Review
Books

Book review | Recent archaeological finds on Keros bring new authoritative scholarship on Cycladic art

Excavation campaigns on the Greek island have raised questions about our knowledge of Cycladic art and culture

News
Frieze New York 2019

Amassing a Frieze Library, book by book

Galleries donate publications for a collection that will go to the Metropolitan Museum

News
Leonardo da Vinci

London's National Gallery defends inclusion of Salvator Mundi in Leonardo show after criticism in new book

The curator’s attribution to the Renaissance master helped Christie’s achieve a world record price for the painting

Review
Books

Bruegel: great research, great exhibition—shame about the catalogue

The Kunsthistorisches's Bruegel exhibition catalogue fails to include any scholarly information

Comment
Caravaggio

Discovery in a Toulouse attic is no Caravaggio

There are too many oddities in the painting discovered in France five years ago

Podcast

David Bailey in focus, plus Picasso biographer John Richardson remembered

We meet the photographer David Bailey at his London studio to discuss his new book and we talk with Gijs van Hensbergen about John Richardson, who died aged 95 last week. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

Review
Renaissance

#Menudetoo: naked bodies in the Renaissance explored at the Royal Academy of Arts and in three new publications

Examining the many meanings—and inanities—ascribed to the unclothed human body in Western art

News
Photography

Novelist Orhan Pamuk unveils photographs of Istanbul he took from his balcony

On show in Turkey this month, the images are an ode to the Nobel Prize-winning author’s hometown

Review
Jasper Johns

Complex, ingenious, emotional: the concluding volumes of Jasper Johns’s catalogues raisonnés

Two further volumes comprehensively cover the artist's drawings and monotypes

Review
Books

Clement Greenberg: still waiting for sympathetic treatment

On the 110th birthday of the great American critic, we delve into our archive and discover that writings about him are either too academic or too sensationalist

Review
Books

Close study of fashions in medieval manuscripts is key to understanding interactions of literature and dress

Book of illuminations show various fashions that shed light on literary styles

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

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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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

Review
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