Gainsborough: A Portrait

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** Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times, Sunday Times and Observer **

'Compulsively readable - the pages seem to turn themselves' John Carey, Sunday Times
'Brings one of the very greatest [artists] vividly to life' Literary Review

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) lived as if electricity shot through his sinews and crackled at his finger ends. He was a gentle and empathetic family man, but had a shockingly loose, libidinous manner and a volatility that could lead him to slash his paintings.

James Hamilton reveals the artist in his many contexts: the talented Suffolk lad, transported to the heights of fashion; the rake-on-the-make in London, learning his craft in the shadow of Hogarth; the society-portrait painter in Bath and London who earned huge sums by charming the right people into his studio. With fresh insights into original sources, Gainsborough: A Portrait transforms our understanding of this fascinating man, and enlightens the century that bore him.

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About the author

James Hamilton is an art and cultural historian. His books include TURNER: A LIFE, shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and A STRANGE BUSINESS: MAKING ART AND MONEY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN, which in 2014 was named Art Book of the Year by the SUNDAY TIMES.

Hamilton was until retirement in 2013 curator of art collections and projects in Portsmouth, Wakefield, Sheffield, Leeds and the University of Birmingham, where he is a Fellow of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Published on
Aug 10, 2017
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781474600538
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
History / Europe / Great Britain / Georgian Era (1714-1837)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Eric Ravilious was among the foremost of English artists to emerge between the wars - and one of the great original wood engravers. His body of work was wide-ranging and multi-faceted; in his relatively short career after he left the Royal College of Art he produced an extraordinary amount of work - murals, watercolours, wood engravings, lithographs and pottery designs for Wedgwood. As successful and enterprising as he was in these diverse fields, it was in the field of landscape painting in watercolour that Ravilious excelled. His tragic and untimely death in 1942, while on service as an Official War Artist, meant that his great promise was never fulfilled and it has been left to Helen Binyon to present this fascinating study of the artist to a world largely unaware of his presence. The author knew Ravilious well from their student days and has been able to draw upon her intimate knowledge of this vivid and exciting artist to make this a compelling account of a genius. Memoir of an Artist is introduced by Richard Morphet, Deputy Keeper of Modern Art at the Tate Gallery, who places Ravilious in the context of modern-day appreciation of his work and describes the close relationship between Eric Ravilious and Helen Binyon, which led her to write this illuminating book, now reprinted by The Lutterworth Press in paperback. The book is lavishly illustrated with examples of Ravilious' work from his student days to his powerfully realised drawings and paintings as an Official War Artist. Foreword by Sir John Rothenstein.
Published in 1996, Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma was the first in-depth study of the artist's life. It has not been superseded.

In this substantially revised, updated edition - to coincide with the artist's centenary, which will be celebrated from autumn 2008 through summer 2009 - Peppiatt will incorporate confidential material Bacon gave him, which he did not include in the first edition.

This valuable, first-hand information comes from the hundreds of conversations Bacon had with Peppiatt, often late into the night, over thirty years, particularly during the periods Bacon spent living and working in Paris. It includes insights into Bacon's intimate relationships, his artistic convictions and his general view of life, as well as his acerbic comments on his contemporaries.

Peppiatt will draw on some of the fascinating information that has become available in the fifteen years since the artist died. Once jealously guarded by the artist himself, the contents of Bacon's studio can now be freely consulted; Peppiatt has had privileged access to these archives, and he will show how a number of recent discoveries - including wholly unexpected source material - have radically changed the way we look at Bacon's work.

Similarly, his recent research into the artist's background - his tortured affair with the sadistic Peter Lacy in Tangier, for instance, and the baffling circumstances of his death in Madrid - will shed light on unexplored areas of Bacon's life and work. Peppiatt will also unveil new information from several people who knew Bacon intimately and who have never gone on record previously.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016

“As compelling and entertaining as a detective novel” (The Economist), the incredible true story—part art history and part mystery—of a Velázquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed nineteenth-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it.

When John Snare, a nineteenth century provincial bookseller, traveled to a liquidation auction, he found a vivid portrait of King Charles I that defied any explanation. The Charles of the painting was young—too young to be king—and yet also too young to be painted by the Flemish painter to whom the piece was attributed. Snare had found something incredible—but what?

His research brought him to Diego Velázquez, whose long-lost portrait of Prince Charles has eluded art experts for generations. Velázquez (1599–1660) was the official painter of the Madrid court, during the time the Spanish Empire teetered on the edge of collapse. When Prince Charles of England—a man wealthy enough to help turn Spain’s fortunes—proposed a marriage with a Spanish princess, he allowed just a few hours to sit for his portrait, and Snare believed only Velázquez could have been the artist of choice. But in making his theory public, Snare was ostracized and forced to choose, like Velázquez himself, between art and family.

A thrilling investigation into the complex meaning of authenticity and the unshakable determination that drives both artists and collectors of their work, The Vanishing Velázquez is a “brilliant” (The Atlantic) tale of mystery and detection, of tragic mishaps and mistaken identities, of class, politics, snobbery, crime, and almost farcical accident that reveals how one historic masterpiece was crafted and lost, and how far one man would go to redeem it. Laura Cumming’s book is “sumptuous...A gleaming work of someone at the peak of her craft” (The New York Times).
An insider's account—the first of its kind—of the thoroughly unconventional life of one of the twentieth century's most shockingly original painters


Lucian Freud's paintings are instantly recognizable: often shocking and disturbing, his portraits convey a profound yet compelling sense of discomfort. Freud was twice married and the father of at least a dozen children, and his numerous relationships with women were the subject of much gossip—but the man himself remained a mystery. An intensely private individual (during his lifetime he prevented two planned biographies from being published), Freud's life, as well as his art, invites questions that have had no answer—until now.
In Breakfast with Lucian, Geordie Greig, one of a few close friends who regularly had breakfast with the painter during the last years of his life, tells an insider's account—accessible, engaging, revealing—of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating, enigmatic, and controversial artists. Greig, who has studied his subject's work at length, unravels the tangled thread of a life lived on Freud's own uncompromising terms. Based on private conversations in which Freud held forth on everything from first love to gambling debts to the paintings of Velázquez, and informed by interviews with friends, lovers, and some of the artist's children who have never before spoken publicly about their relationships with the painter, this is a deeply personal memoir that is illuminated by a keen appreciation of Freud's art. Fresh, funny, and ultimately profound, Breakfast with Lucian is an essential portrait—one worthy of one of the greatest painters of our time.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

J.M.W. Turner was a painter whose treatment of light put him squarely in the pantheon of the world’s preeminent artists, but his character was a tangle of fascinating contradictions. While he could be coarse and rude, manipulative, ill-mannered, and inarticulate, he was also generous, questioning, and humane, and he displayed through his work a hitherto unrecognized optimism about the course of human progress. With two illegitimate daughters and several mistresses whom Turner made a career of not including in his public life, the painter was also known for his entrepreneurial cunning, demanding and receiving the highest prices for his work.

Over the course of sixty years, Turner traveled thousands of miles to seek out the landscapes of England and Europe. He was drawn overwhelmingly to coasts, to the electrifying rub of the land with the sea, and he regularly observed their union from the cliff, the beach, the pier, or from a small boat. Fueled by his prodigious talent, Turner revealed to himself and others the personality of the British and European landscapes and the moods of the surrounding seas. He kept no diary, but his many sketchbooks are intensely autobiographical, giving clues to his techniques, his itineraries, his income and expenditures, and his struggle to master the theories of perspective.

In Turner, James Hamilton takes advantage of new material discovered since the 1975 bicentennial celebration of the artist’s birth, paying particular attention to the diary of sketches with which Turner narrated his life. Hamilton’s textured portrait is fully complemented by a sixteen-page illustrations insert, including many color reproductions of Turner’s most famous landscape paintings. Seamlessly blending vibrant biography with astute art criticism, Hamilton writes with energy, style, and erudition to address the contradictions of this great artist.
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