Sunday, October 12, 2014


Dance to the Music of Time
c. 1633-34

In 1966 Abrams was the leading New York publisher of art books. They were the natural ones at that time in that place to find a wide public for Walter Friedlaender's ambitious and important book, Nicolas Poussin : A New Approach. It is a book I am presently rereading. Current-days people might be put off by the fact that all reproductions within the text are black-and-white. However, there is a thick section of tipped-in plates at the back printed and mounted on special papers and done to a quite high standard of color (by the standards that prevailed fifty years ago). The writing also seems a little old-fashioned, tending more than any art writing at present toward an ideal of gentlemanly connoisseurship. It is a familiar tone of voice to me  the benign, inviting tone I first encountered as a child when I began reading the fat art books at the Rock Island Public Library on my own, long before dreaming of owning any.

Diana and Endymion
c. 1630

Arcadian Shepherds
c. 1627-28 

Death of Germanicus

Finding of Moses

Inspiration of the Poet (detail)
c. 1630

Landscape with Two Nymphs

Landscape with Three Men

Hagar and the Angel
c. 1660-65

Apollo and Daphne (unfinished)