“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.
Monet’s influence is crucial to what Willibald Sauerländer considers to be Manet’s “conversion” to Impressionism. Yet their acquaintance was not always amiable. Two paintings made by Manet in the summer of 1874 are the subject of Sauerländer’s new book, Manet Paints Monet: A Summer in Argenteuil, which Colin B. Bailey reviews in The New York Review’s April 23 issue.
In his writing about photography, Siegfried Kracauer, the Frankfurt School’s freelance intellectual par excellence, was less concerned with the intention of the photographer than with the logic of the medium—a radical view that prized the unforeseen correspondences and inadvertent revelations that may be found in dated news photos or old family portraits, photographs where initial associations fade and vanish so that the image “necessarily disintegrates into its particulars.” Part of the pleasure of a new book of his family photos is finding these very sorts of revelations in the Kracauers’ generally artless snapshots.