Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored

Coutts, Marion and Lubbock, Tom. 2011. Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored. Frances Lincoln, London. [Other]

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Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored is a fully illustrated collection of essays on individual paintings drawn from his Great Works column in The Independent that ran from 2005 - 2010.

As literary executor for the estate of Tom Lubbock I facilitated the production of Great Works together with Andrew Dunn from Frances Lincoln: proofing, editing, image calibration, working from the essay schedule set by the author.

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How does the flatness of Mickey Mouse’s ears illuminate the ‘non-specific bodies’ of Klimt’s Water Nymphs? Why was Vuillard’s genius confined to the decade when he worked at home? What was it that made Ingres such an exciting weirdo? Germolene, sticking plaster, marshmallows, prawn cocktail, pork paté and sausage meat: how many other ways could Philip Guston find to paint pink?

Great Works collects 50 great essays on paintings by Tom Lubbock, all first published in the ‘Great Works’ series he wrote weekly for the Independent and here collected for the first time. Always inventive and authoritative, each piece is devoted to a single painting. It is a book of surprises: Giotto’s Vices (1306) as ‘studies in self-destruction’; Hitchcock’s lighting tricks on Suspicion compared to the luminosity of a Zurbarán still life; how the figure in Gwen John’s Girl in a Blue Dress (1914) “withdraws from life, fading into its surface, pressed like a flower’; Géricault's Study of Truncated Limbs (1819), as ‘a good painting, simply, of sex”.


art writing, criticism, the independent, illustrated, paintings, essays, philosophy, art history, tom lubbock, marion coutts

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Date Deposited:

09 Jul 2012 10:37

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:45


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