"[A] crisp and authoritative biography...[told] with grace and wit...a pre-eminent figure of cultural life during the 20th century...Clark recognized that in dark times there is a yearning for serious art, music and literature...Civilization is fragile, he understood. About its development, and about the possibility of succumbing to forces of chaos, he warned, 'We got through by the skin of our teeth, and it might happen again.'"
-Dwight Garner, The New York Times "Learned...eloquent...[Stourton] carefully chronicles Clark's rather loveless childhood, his apprenticeship with Berenson in Italy, his appointment as keeper of fine art at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, at the astonishing age of 27, his rise to command the National Gallery at 30...[and his] influence in the world of television."
-Dan Hofstadter, The Wall Street Journal
"Outstanding...Stourton proves to be a highly capable guide to this significant 20th-century life...A sparkling, thoroughly entertaining portrait of a brilliant popularizer who brought art to the masses."
-Kirkus Reviews "James Stourton leaves no stone unturned in Kenneth Clark, his magisterial and engrossing biography, which achieves a perfect balance between Clark's complex private world and his hugely successful career."
-Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War "Superb...Stourton, a former chariman of Southeby's, is the ideal choice for Clark's official biographer and has produced an accomplished book that is scholarly, entertaining, beautifully written and sympathetic, while far from uncritical."
-Michael Prodger, The Times
"Richly detailed, colourful and astute...a resplendent biography."
-John Carey, The Sunday Times
"An astute study...Stourton has dissected his subject's multiple personae and unpicked his ambiguities and evasions...[He] astutely analyses Clark's emotional and intellectual contradictions."
-Peter Conrad, The Guardianshow more