"Great art has dreadful manners. The hushed reverence of the gallery can
fool you into believing masterpieces are polite things, visions that soothe,
charm and beguile, but actually they are thugs. Merciless and wily, the greatest
paintings grab you in a headlock, rough up your composure and then proceed in
short order to re-arrange your sense of reality..."
Schama closes in on intense make-or-break turning points in the lives
of eight great artists who, under extreme stress, created something
unprecedented, altering the course of art forever. Caravaggio, Bernini,
Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko--each in his own resolute
way faced crisis with steadfast defiance. The masterpieces they created
challenged convention, shattered complacency, shifted awareness, and changed the
way we look at the world.
Most compelling of all, Power of Art traces the extraordinary evolution
of eight world-class works of art. Created in a bolt of illumination, such works
"tell us something about how the world is, how it is to be inside our skins,
that no more prosaic source of wisdom can deliver. And when they do that they
answer, irrefutably and majestically, the nagging question of every reluctant
art-conscript... 'OK, OK, but what's art really for?'"
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Simon Schama - Power of Art
I just got this book out of the library and already the dust cover blurb and the introduction has got me hooked...:
I'll report later on whether the book lived up to its promise
(BTW I think Schama's Landscape & Memory is a book anyone who is involved with landscapes needs to read - fantastic. I'm going to write more about it later)
Posted by tim atherton at 1:11 pm