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The National Portrait Gallery Collection

The National Portrait Gallery Collection

by Susan Foister (Editor), Robin Gibson (Editor), Malcolm Rogers (Editor), Jacob Simon (Editor)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The over 200 portraits selected here by four curators from England's National Portrait Gallery cover an instructive and amusing range, from an oil painting of the lissome young Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612) by Robert Peake to a black-and-white photo of sultry, mascara-drenched screen star Vivien Leigh. T. S. Eliot is charmingly fractured in a squiggly-lined, quasi-cubist performance in oil by Patrick Heron, while British trade union leaders Joe Gormley, Tom Jackson and Sig Weighell are rhapsodized with unlikely neoimpressionist flourish by Hans Schwarz. The artistic divide separating the 20th century from all that preceded it is vast: the almost unfailingly monumental, studied glimpses of England's greats in centuries past contrast sharply with whimsical views of enshrined contemporaries. Of particular interest are changing fashions in depicting royalty as well: Princess Anne seems but a vague, watery, civilian shadow of a thoroughbred, while Queen Elizabeth I appears in full autocratic regalia. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This beautifully illustrated book achieves what a national portrait gallery itself should: it is a survey of the country's history through the individuals who created or acted upon its politics and culture. The works selected from London's National Portrait Gallery and its four regional ``outstations'' were chosen for their historic and artistic importance and illustrate the great tradition of British portraiture through five centuries. The chronological survey is divided into broad time periods, each introduced by an overview of the historic and cultural events of the era. Each portrait is accompanied by a short description and comments on the significance of the sitter and the artist. Dimensions and museum accession numbers are provided for scholars, but this glimpse into British personalities will fascinate anyone interested in art or history. Recommended for most libraries.-- Lynell A. Morr, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Lib., Sarasota, Fla.

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 12.42(h) x 1.03(d)

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