Recent links of note:
James Hankins, The Spectator
The most well-known art celebrities of today—Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, et al.—couldn’t hold a candle to the meteoric career of the renowned Raphael. “At the time of his death on Good Friday, 1520,” writes James Hankins for The Spectator, “Raffaello Sanzio of Urbino was the most successful artist the world had ever seen.” He had a special place in the heart of Pope Leo X, “the greatest patron of Christendom,” but that doesn’t do his megastar status justice. Name another artist, for instance, who nearly painted his way t0 becoming a cardinal. Or who invented and gave himself a role comparable to Raphael’s title of “surveyor of antiquities” in Rome, permitting unmitigated control over any ancient remains still in the city. This year, a number of exhibitions around the globe will commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of his death. Those residing stateside can get a preview at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., with “Raphael and His Circle,” on through June 14. Come June, look for a review in our pages by Hankins of the Raphael show at Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale.
“Everlasting Youth: The callow genius of Percy Bysse Shelley”
Algis Valiunas, Claremont Review of Books
The poet Percy Bysse Shelley was “so notorious” as a political firebrand that, by the end of his life, “persons protective of their honor thought it best not to know of him at all,” writes Algis Valiunas for the Claremont Review of Books. He was born to nobility but seemed hell-bent on sacrificing that privilege and prestige on the altar of his radical ideals. The marriage of poetry and politics was not unique to Shelley among the Romantics, but it can hardly be said that youthful ambition burned brighter in any of his peers. And yet, given the hints of mellowing he began to evince before his death at the age of twenty-nine, there is reason to wonder: “What might he have become had he not been doomed to everlasting youth?”
“The ways of dog to Mann”
David E. Cooper, Times Literary Supplement
In our December 2019 issue, our own Benjamin Riley reviewed Susie Green’s Dogs in Art, a winning volume examining the history of canine depiction on a level much deeper than the usual dogs-playing-poker fare. But if, as with a hound on the hunt, that whiff has only whetted your appetite, you might turn to the trio of books flagged by David E. Cooper in his latest review for the Times Literary Supplement. Much has been written on man’s best friend, and not always in such laudatory terms. Here is as good a place as any to begin.
“Jay Nordlinger & James Panero on music criticism.”
A new podcast from two longtime New Criterion critics.
Stephen Schmalhofer on the life of Father Cyril Sigourney Fay.