Off the shelf
Apollo’s selection of recently published books on art, architecture and the history of collecting
Friday, 1st June 2012
Baldassare Longhena and Venetian Baroque Architecture
Yale University Press, £55
Baldassare Longhena (1598–1682) is best known today for the Madonna della Salute, the 17th-century basilica devoted to the Virgin Mary in gratitude for Venice’s deliverance from the plague. This welcome survey is the first in English to explore a range of other works from the architect’s 50-year career, including grand staircases and libraries, palaces commissioned by private patrons and projects for Venice’s Jewish community.
Frits Lugt: Living for Art
Fondation Custodia and
Thoth Publishers, £38
The achievements of Frits Lugt (1884 –1970) stand among the highlights of the history of European art collecting. This biography details the Dutch collector’s beginnings at an Amsterdam auction house, his self-taught connoisseurship and collecting of Netherlandish prints, and his battle to recover his collection after Nazi looting. Lugt established, in 1947, the Fondation Custodia in Paris to make his collection publicly accessible.
British Antique Furniture (6th Edition)
Antique Collectors’ Club, £45
For the past 40 years, this classic guidebook has outsold all others on the subject of British antique furniture. It offers step-by-step guidance on what to look for when assessing the value of different types of furniture, accompanied by photographs of items in shops and auction rooms through-
out the UK. This sixth edition covers patination and colour, areas which have become increasingly relevant to collectors in recent years.
The British as Art Collectors
James Stourton and
From the author of Great Collectors of our Time (Apollo’s 2007 Book of the Year) comes this rich narrative, in collaboration with Charles Sebag-Montefiore, of the British passion for collecting art. Major collecting land-marks include the origins of royal patronage, the country house boom, the Grand Tour and the 19th-century fashion for creating museums. Also included is London’s role today as an international hub for collectors.
The Life & Letters of Gavin Hamilton
Brepols Publishers, €175
Among the most prominent collectors of the 18th century was Gavin Hamilton (1723–98), who first went to Rome to further his career in painting but became a prolific dealer in Old Master paintings and antiquities. This book includes over 300 of Hamilton’s edited and annotated letters to the most prolific collectors of the time, and provides new material on both the dispersal of Italian art collections and British taste in the late 18th century.
Caravaggio: The Artist and His Work
J. Paul Getty Museum, £39.95
Such is Caravaggio’s grip on the popular imagination that one might think there is little left to be said about him. This book argues other-wise, suggesting that widely accepted narratives about the artist need fresh examination. The author posits that Caravaggio in fact lacked neither education nor piety, and that his brushes with the law conformed to the behavioural norms of the artistocratic Romans he sought to emulate.
LATEST NEWS & COMMMENT
Brussels plays host to a trio of outstanding fairs at the Place du Grand Sablon in early June, and the ever popular Carré Rive Gauche – now in its 36th year – returns to the Left Bank in Paris.
The work of John Nash has often been overshadowed by that of his contemporary, John Soane. But his pragmatism, as well as his experiments with the picturesque, make him one of the most significant of all British architects.
Apollo is published in London, one of the world’s great art capitals and home to extraordinary, thrilling exhibitions such as last year’s ‘Bronze’ at the Royal Academy