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A Welcome for Foreigners

Peter Burke, 7 November 1991

The Golden Age of Painting in Spain 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 330 pp., £39.95, January 1991, 0 300 04760 6
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Spanish Paintings of the 15th through 19th Centuries 
by Jonathan Brown and Richard Mann.
National Gallery of Art, Washington/Cambridge, 165 pp., £50, April 1991, 0 521 40107 0
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... and artists today, from Australia to Brazil. It also sums up the central argument of Jonathan Brown’s new book The Golden Age of Painting in Spain, which emphasises Spain’s cultural dependence on foreigners. The author claims that even in its so-called ‘Golden Age’, here defined as the period 1480-1700, Spain remained ‘on the periphery of ...

The Operation

Peter Goldsworthy, 7 June 2001

... sarongs – is all that you may need. If not, cuisine comes next: Asian takeaway in confidential brown paper bags. Only when ready come out in public: sitting at roadside stalls proudly becoming what you eat, stir-fry and rice, and more rice, in small civilised portions. Now you must use only chopsticks, or the washed right hand alone, and rise always from ...

At the White Cube

Peter Campbell: Anselm Kiefer, 22 February 2007

... across the diagonal of the room, is topped with the remnants of a crown of leaves, now crisp and brown, and terminates with a root-bole, round and heavy, like the knob of a club. The paintings resemble sheets from a herbarium where specimens – palm leaves, but other plants as well – have been mounted by a deranged botanist who has attacked them with ...

Reproaches from the Past

Peter Clarke: Gordon Brown, 1 April 2004

The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown 
by William Keegan.
Wiley, 356 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 470 84697 6
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... Standing in such a tradition, the title chosen by William Keegan, The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown, is entitled to its whimsical flourish, and he duly begins with a monitory epigraph from Titian’s Allegory of Prudence: ‘The Present does well to profit from the Past, lest Future conduct go astray.’ A respected financial journalist with excellent ...

Sunflower

Peter Burke, 20 March 1986

Velazquez: Painter and Courtier 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 322 pp., £35, March 1986, 0 300 03466 0
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El Greco and his Patrons: Three Major Projects 
by Richard Mann.
Cambridge, 164 pp., £35, February 1986, 0 521 30392 3
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... the centre to the periphery. It is only in the last few years, thanks to scholars such as Jonathan Brown and some of his Spanish colleagues, such as Julian Gallego, that the art of 17th-century Spain is beginning to be seen again in its intellectual, social and political context. Jonathan Brown is the author of monographs on ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Peter Doig, 6 March 2008

... Peter Doig painted Echo Lake in 1998. A man stands on the far side of a stretch of dark water. He is quite a way off, but you can see that he wears a white shirt and a dark tie. His hands are raised to his face. Is it to keep the light out of his eyes as he looks at you? Or is it to project his voice as he shouts? A police car, lights on, is parked behind him ...

Jews’ Harps

Gabriel Josipovici, 4 February 1982

Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse 
by T. Carmi.
Penguin, 608 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 14 042197 1
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... be revised and rethought in the light of this book. It reinforces the insights of such scholars as Peter Brown and Meyer Schapiro, who have tried to draw us out of our Rome-centred, Classics-centred view of the past. It truly does what Eliot said every masterpiece did: alters, if ever so slightly, every single work in the ...

Do not disturb

Bernard Williams, 20 October 1994

The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Princeton, 558 pp., £22.50, June 1994, 0 691 03342 0
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... aim to give, and granted its scope and its plan, it could not have given, the kind of picture that Peter Brown has given, in his life of Augustine and other books about early Christianity, of what it was like to be someone at a certain date in Alexandria or in Carthage, wondering what to believe. It is not, in that sense, a work of history, as distinct ...

Thatcherism

Gordon Brown, 2 February 1989

Thatcherism 
edited by Robert Skidelsky.
Chatto, 214 pp., £18, November 1988, 0 7011 3342 2
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The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left 
by Stuart Hall.
Verso, 283 pp., £24.95, December 1988, 0 86091 199 3
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... on principle, practising conviction politics with missionary zeal at governess pitch. For Peter Riddell, writing elsewhere, Thatcherism is ‘essentially an instinct, a sense of moral values and an approach to leadership rather than an ideology, an expression of Mrs Thatcher’s upbringing in Grantham, her background of hard work and family ...

At Tate Modern

Peter Campbell: Barnett Newman, 3 October 2002

... a remarkably large proportion of his work. He started late. Onement I, a modestly sized upright brown canvas divided by a vertical vermilion band, the picture he reckoned to be the first in which he found his distinctive voice, was painted in 1948, when he was well into his forties. He had his first one-man show in 1950. His pictures are easy to recognise ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Thomas Girtin, 22 August 2002

... formerly protected by a mount shows unaltered blue greys, which exposure to light has turned to brown over most of the picture area. The comparatively small number of pictures that can be reckoned to look much as they did when they were new can be used to measure change in others. Among the guilty fugitives, whose departure has made monotone what was ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: Penguin’s 70th birthday, 2 June 2005

... number of them as books they knew, or books they have on their shelves, mellowing into crisp, brown-edged age. Novelists are notoriously sensitive about covers. J.D. Salinger won’t allow anything but type – the memory of one vilely inappropriate cover (a third-rate Saturday Evening Post illustration on For Esmé with Love and Squalor) gives a notion ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Howard Hodgkin, 6 July 2006

... among dark green leaves. A flock of starlings – some black, glossy and speckled, some buff-brown juveniles – land and scramble, mostly unseen, among the leaves which rustle and move with their comings and goings. They peck at the fruit. A pair of wood pigeons – soft grey backs, pink-buff breasts, white collars – land and cling unsteadily to twigs ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Unpopular Culture, 5 June 2008

... world Perry’s exhibition looks back beyond. Many of the paintings – Jack Smith’s black-grey-brown After the Meal, Ruskin Spear’s dusky Hammersmith Broadway, Victor Pasmore’s misty Riverside Gardens, Paul Nash’s bleak East Anglian sea wall in Promenade – are sadder and more solemn than the photographs. Sickert’s ...

At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Velázquez, 16 November 2006

... of Vulcan (the former now in the Escorial, the latter in the Prado), mark the transition from brown to bright and from marked chiaroscuro to more even lighting. Some of the strangeness and intensity of earlier compositions has gone. Velázquez has become more international European, less provincial Spanish. The figures (all male) are close to being ...

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