Norman Bryson's new book...elicits levels of meaning in still life painting that reveal how complex this apparently simple art form can be. He dwells on certain pictures with a fastness comparable to that found in the best still lifes; and in so doing he induces in the reader a similar attention...Few art historians can unpeel images in the way he does. (Frances Spalding The Independent)
In four dazzling essays, [Bryson] breaks through the profound, enigmatic silences that have made still life resistant to interpretation for centuries, coaxing the most reticent of genres into eloquent speech...By including still life in the current discourse on gender and patriarchal modes of seeing, Bryson brings it up to date, arguing convincingly for its permanent relevance. For if he is correct, then still life will always offer painters a rich seam to mine. (Nancy Grimes ARTnews)
There can be little doubt that Bryson has succeeded brilliantly in his aim of developing our critical discourse: novel interpretations can be found on every page of this book. Like all the best art critics, Bryson succeeds in extending the range of our response to the paintings he writes about: after reading his words on Zurbarán or Chardin their still lifes become tinged with his eloquence. (Paul Taylor Art History) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.