Cover image for Bernard Shaw on the London Art Scene, 1885–1950 Edited by Stanley Weintraub

Bernard Shaw on the London Art Scene, 1885–1950

Edited by Stanley Weintraub

BUY

600 pages
6" × 9"
1989

Bernard Shaw on the London Art Scene, 1885–1950

Edited by Stanley Weintraub

Unlike G.B.S's music and drama criticism and he was the best critic of his time in both categories his art criticism, aside from two or three pieces, is mostly unsigned, never reprinted, and largely unknown. Of the 181 pieces on art collected in this volume, three appear here (from the original manuscripts) for the first time, and 170 have never before been reprinted after their first, often anonymous, publication. Even some of these appear for the first time in accurate form, as newspaper publication sometimes resulted in erratic texts that Shaw, in his scrapbooks of clippings (when he remembered to, he saved copies of his work), hand-corrected.Words, Shaw would point out, were not always adequate to convey the impact of the senses - not even when allied to the composer's art. "The words spoil the music. Michael Angelo wrote reams of sonnets; but what are they besides the speechless prophets and sibyls in the Sistine Chapel? Is there any written or writable description," he argued, "that makes you see the Venus of Milo or the Hermes of Praxiteles? Do the gardeners' catalogues with which Milton padded Paradise Lost do for you what Turner and Monet did with a few dabs of paint?"

 

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Unlike G.B.S's music and drama criticism and he was the best critic of his time in both categories his art criticism, aside from two or three pieces, is mostly unsigned, never reprinted, and largely unknown. Of the 181 pieces on art collected in this volume, three appear here (from the original manuscripts) for the first time, and 170 have never before been reprinted after their first, often anonymous, publication. Even some of these appear for the first time in accurate form, as newspaper publication sometimes resulted in erratic texts that Shaw, in his scrapbooks of clippings (when he remembered to, he saved copies of his work), hand-corrected.Words, Shaw would point out, were not always adequate to convey the impact of the senses - not even when allied to the composer's art. "The words spoil the music. Michael Angelo wrote reams of sonnets; but what are they besides the speechless prophets and sibyls in the Sistine Chapel? Is there any written or writable description," he argued, "that makes you see the Venus of Milo or the Hermes of Praxiteles? Do the gardeners' catalogues with which Milton padded Paradise Lost do for you what Turner and Monet did with a few dabs of paint?"

Stanley Weintraub, Evan Pugh Professor of Arts and Humanities and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies at Penn State, is author or editor of a dozen books on Shaw, including Bernard Share: The Diaries, 1885-1897; Private Share and Public Share; Journey to Heartbreak; and The Portable Bernard Share. He is also the author of Victoria: An Intimate Biography and four biographies of artists in Victorian London: Aubrey Beardsley: Imp of the Perverse; Whistler: A Biography; Too Rossettis: A Victorian Biography; and The London Yankees: American Writers and Artists in England, 1894-1914.

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