“In the shadow of Vesuvius”
Daisy Dunn, The Spectator
The title of Daisy Dunn’s new biography—The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny—is at first glance misleading, at second illustrative. The ostensible subject of her work is the life of Pliny the Younger, and not of his famous uncle, Pliny the Elder. So why the lack of differentiation? But with the help of Dunn, the closer one looks, the more one realizes that a study of one is a study of the other, too. In this excerpt published by The Spectator, which begins with Pliny’s intrepid if foolhardy decision to sail straight for an erupting Mt. Vesuvius, we have a fine snapshot of which characteristics the two share in common and what sets them apart.
“‘Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain’ Review: A Taste of Spain”
Eric Gibson, The Wall Street Journal
“We generally associate the word ‘Renaissance’ with art produced in Italy,”Eric Gibson observes in his latest for The Wall Street Journal (and with a hint of irony, since the term itself is French). “But the ideas that flowered there spread far and wide.” The Spanish Empire was among those happy beneficiaries, thanks in large part to the efforts of one Alonso Berruguete (ca. 1488–1561). Now, we have the chance to see a small but mighty selection of his works in a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the first that the museum has devoted exclusively to Golden Age Spanish Sculpture. To learn more about this multi-talented artist and his deeply expressive work, read Gibson’s review—or, even better, venture to the National Gallery to see for yourself.
“Building to No Purpose”
Catesby Leigh, First Things
The new private development at Hudson Yards—currently the largest of its sort in the nation—remains under construction through 2023 (and possibly beyond), but if you’ve ventured through the bizarre amalgamations of glass, metal, and concrete,that have been completed thus far, you may shudder to imagine what the rest will look like.James Panero shared his impressions of the complex in our pageslast year; now, writing for First Things, Catesby Leigh offers another perspective on just how inhuman the architecture at Hudson Yards, and indeed all the way down the High Line to the Whitney Museum some twenty blocks south, really is. A depressing read, perhaps, but ultimately a sobering one.
By the Editors