Matt's Old Masters

Matt's Old Masters : Titian, Rubens, Velasquez, Hogarth

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Welcome to an alarming book. In it Matthew Collings, known for his TV programmes and books about new art, tells you how to look at the old masters. Of course you can look at them however you like. But this book gives you some art historical facts as the context for what you're looking at - Collings gives you the resources you need, in order to make sense of what you're seeing. And he gets you to think for yourself. In art culture today all you hear about are literal meanings, about subject matter and ideas. Matt Collings objects to the droning repetition of that stuff. He looks to the past for a different model of art, one where the surface, the form, the look of something, is part of the idea, maybe even the main thing. We can't have the past back as a complete package, of course. That would be mad. But we can find critical principles in it that we can use to make something better out of our own time. The key figures he has chosen are Titian, Rubens, Velasquez and Hogarth. The first three stand for the highest that painting can go - rich, free, flowing, grand. In art historical terms, this is the 'painterly' stream of art.
The last one didn't punch quite so high, but in him Collings sees a principle of adapting your understanding and admiration for what seems higher and greater than yourself - the achievements of the past - to your own sense of what is alive and real. Matthew Collings' new book gives a unique approach to the paintings of the past.
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 129 x 198mm
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0753820005
  • 9780753820001

About Matthew Collings

Matthew Collings is an artist, art historian and cultural critic who writes for various newspapers and magazines. He was a presenter on The Late Show and now presents Channel 4's annual broadcast of the Turner Prize.
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