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Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power & Brilliance (Yale Center for British Art) Hardcover – January 11, 2011
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The book is well-printed, and beautifully illustrates all the portraits in this unforgettable show. The inelegant text is not without its useful points, but in general it is extremely disappointing. It often lacks credible insights, and it is unable (or unwilling) to convey a sense of appreciation -something highly important for exhibition-goers. It frequently feels like clever-dickery, stating the obvious, wrapped up in the latest jargon.
Poor Sir Thomas! The central article on 'Lawrence and his Female Sitters' is the most astonishing piece of inflated, high falutin', sexualised mumbo-jumbo, that I have ever had the misfortune to pay for. ('The Emperor's New Clothes' come to mind !) Clearly, these critics haven't got very much to say. Who on earth are the readers they have in mind ?
In 1815 this artist was knighted by the Prince Regent, and ever since has been known to us as Sir Thomas Lawrence. Not any more, for the authors of this Catalogue. They have seen fit to delete his legal title, depriving him of his due honour. Some of us might feel that this high-handed way with the facts by the National Portrait Gallery(!) appears disrespectful to the memory of a great British artist.Read more ›