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The Vexations of Art: Velázquez and Others Paperback – December 5, 2007
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"'The Vexations of Art is an engrossing, passionate attempt to re-engage with painting as a mode of thought at a time when 'it is not clear in what form the resource of painting - for surely painting has been a singular resource of the greater European culture - will continue.' Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times 'A fascinating book that will surely generate discussion for some time to come.' Mindy Nancarrow, Renaissance Quarterly"
About the Author
Svetlana Alpers is professor emerita of the history of art, University of California, Berkeley, and visiting scholar in the department of fine arts, New York University. She is the author of The Making of Rubens and, with Michael Baxandall, Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence, published by Yale University Press.
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When I read the first of her books, I ordered and read the rest. This is my favorite, but they are all worth reading. If you have a jones for understanding art this should be on your list. Indeed this is the book I most enjoyed reading in the last two or three years.
Alper's books are events in the best sense of the word; each as brilliant as an illuminated book. Her works inevitably follow one all-pervading rule - "Let there be light!" And what better touchstone for an historian of art?