When we see things for the first time, the pictures are always a surprise. Nature’s imagination is richer than ours. We imagine things to be simple and Nature makes them complicated. In Expanding Universe, a magnificent selection of pictures taken by cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope, the big surprise is dust.
This, said we in our heart, is the true method which must become popular in the United States—which must supplant the stale, second-hand, foreign method, with its flourishes, its ridiculous sentimentality, its anti-republican spirit, and its sycophantic influence, tainting the young taste of the republic.
“Like Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo worked in many different fields of art,” Anthony Grafton writes in the New York Review’s May 7 issue. He produced some of the most handsome and dignified religious paintings of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. But he also crafted “startlingly vivid portraits of individuals and strangely evocative images of religious objects.” The works included in the exhibition “Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence” at the National Gallery “open up a world of ravishing visual interest.” We present here a series of Piero’s works, with commentary drawn from Grafton’s review.
When I attempt to describe my years in Paris, no one believes me, I can tell. It was too Hollywood-dream perfect. Here is Nadja coming out of the student restaurant, minding her own business, and who should appear next but Eric Rohmer and within minutes he wants to make a film about her life.
In mid-February a second Ukrainian ceasefire came into effect. The fighting has not stopped, though it has been much reduced. Few people think it will last. The morale of soldiers on both sides is high. Civilians who remain in the areas where there is fighting have been emerging from their shelters and trying to resume some sort of normal life, though some still live underground. A huge proportion of the people who live in these areas have left. I took the following photos while reporting for The New York Review of Books from the region last month.