Velázquez (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
The reader who casually examines Jonathan Brown’s amply illustrated volume will find it rewarding simply to view high-quality color reproductions of masterpieces of painting. One who studies the text alongside the illustrations, however, will find an informative and enlightening account of the artist whom Édouard Manet called the painter’s painter. Taken together, the text and illustrations represent a brief course in art appreciation. Writing with insight and authority, Brown explains how Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez developed from an apprentice in the shop of the pedestrian but cultured painter Francisco Pacheco into one of the world’s most original artists. With his expertise as an art historian, Brown enables the reader to appreciate Velázquez’s technical innovations; otherwise, techniques which later became commonplace might seem so in their original expression.
Velázquez, the greatest Spanish painter of the seventeenth century, produced approximately 150 paintings, a small number even by standards of his own day. His contemporary Rembrandt van Rijn left more than five hundred paintings and thousands of drawings. Brown lists ninety-eight surviving paintings attributed to Velázquez, seven additional ones in part by him, and nine as possibly by him. The matter of attribution, however, has not been finally settled, and most other authorities attribute a few more surviving paintings to the artist. Velázquez is perhaps best...
(The entire section is 2082 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
Art in America. LXXIV, September, 1986, p. 19.
Booklist. LXXXII, August, 1986, p. 1648.
Choice. XXIV, October, 1986, p. 290.
Kirkus Reviews. LIV, February 1, 1986, p. 176.
Library Journal. CXI, August, 1986, p. 136.
The London Review of Books. VIII, March 20, 1986, p. 12.
The New York Review of Books. XXXIII, November 6, 1986, p. 27.
The New York Times. August 4, 1986, p. 15.
The New York Times Book Review. XCI, August 10, 1986, p. 1.
Spectator. CCLVI, June 14, 1986, p. 32.
The Wall Street Journal. CCVIII, September 5, 1986, p. 14.
(The entire section is 67 words.)