Ingrid D. Rowland is a Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Her new book, The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art, cowritten with Noah Charney, will be published in October. (June 2017)

IN THE REVIEW

Martin Luther’s Burning Questions

Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation

an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, October 30, 2016–January 15, 2017

Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation

an exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York City, October 7, 2016–January 22, 2017
The posting of Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses in 1517 set off the spark that ignited the Protestant Reformation, and the Reformation in turn marked a fundamental stage in the forging of a collective German identity. A series of Luther celebrations to mark the event’s five hundredth anniversary provide a fresh, insightful view into Luther’s life and times and the vast, unpredictable forces his rebellion unleashed.

The Virtuoso of Compassion

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio

an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, October 7, 2016–January 22, 2017; and the Musée du Louvre, Paris, February 20–May 22, 2017

Beyond Caravaggio

an exhibition at the National Gallery, London, October 12, 2016–January 15, 2017; the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, February 11–May 14, 2017; and the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, June 17–September 24, 2017
When Caravaggio shows a humble disciple or an innkeeper, he shows them as full human beings. When he shows suffering, he stands his ground rather than shrinking back. Along with the disciple who screams as Jesus is dragged off to prison and Jesus himself feeling both the kiss of Judas and the blow of Pilate’s thug in a single instant, he paints himself right into The Taking of Christ and its profound tragedy: the figure on the far right of the painting is the artist himself, holding up a lantern.

Robert B. Silvers (1929–2017)

Robert B. Silvers in his office at The New York Review of Books, early 1980s
From its first issue in 1963, Robert Silvers was either co-editor with Barbara Epstein or, after her death in 2006, editor of The New York Review. Bob worked almost to the very end of his life, which would be no surprise to those who knew him well, including those who have written these brief memoirs.

The Long Reach of Rome

‘Jupiter and Juno’; a detail from Annibale Carracci’s ceiling at the Palazzo Farnese, Rome, 1597–1604

The Genesis of Roman Architecture

by John North Hopkins

Art of Empire: The Roman Frescoes and Imperial Cult Chamber in Luxor Temple

edited by Michael Jones and Susanna McFadden
In 2010, archaeologists exploring a garden on Rome’s Capitoline Hill discovered the remains of an ancient votive deposit, a pit full of broken objects that had once been consecrated to the gods: offerings, pieces of architectural decoration, things too holy simply to throw away without risking a curse. Instead, the …

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An Island in a Cold Sea

Migrants who have arrived by boat from North Africa at the port in Lampedusa, March 27, 2011

As Donald Trump denies entry to the already small number of pre-screened refugees the US had agreed to accept—among them Syrian and Iraqi families fleeing terrorism who have been carefully vetted and approved by the UN Refugee agency and by the US Department of Homeland Security—Europeans face a far more dire situation: the hundreds of thousands of desperate people from North Africa and the Middle East, who, without any UN help, are attempting to reach their shores. This is the focus of the haunting documentary Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea).

Breakfast in the Ruins

In September 2015, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles acquired the first photographs ever taken of Palmyra, the great trading oasis in the heart of the Syrian desert. With a history that extends back nearly four thousand years, Palmyra has risen and fallen many times. The worst destruction, certainly, was inflicted between June and September of 2015 by the militants of the Islamic State, who obliterated the ancient buildings amid accusations of paganism and idolatry.

From Aeschylus to the EU

Moni Ovadia's production of Aeschylus’s The Suppliants in Syracuse, Sicily, June, 2015

What is its greater contribution to humanity at large: Greek theater or double-entry bookkeeping? Aeschylus or Keynes? This summer, in the ancient Greek theater of Syracuse in Sicily, Aeschylus’s The Suppliants, one of the world’s most ancient plays, turned out to be one of the world’s most timely, in the hands of an Italian actor-director who was once an immigrant himself, Moni Ovadia.

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