Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas, 1656, El Museo del Prado, Madrid

Recent links of note:

Picture Perfect
Henrik Bering, The Weekly Standard
“Paintings are delicate things that don’t much like fire, floods, wars, or general mayhem.” So says Henrik Bering, the frequent New Criterion contributor, in this week’s Weekly Standard. This is particularly true of Velázquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas, which suffered a turbulent stretch in the era of the Spanish Civil War. We can be thankful that the picture survived the turmoil and now stands resplendent again in Madrid’s Museo del Prado. In his review of Michael Jacobs’s Everything is Happening, Bering traces the history of the painting’s reception. He contends in a particularly perspicacious moment that, as always, we can “trust the twentieth century to complicate things.” And yet, through all the theory—and this is Jacobs’s, and Bering’s point—the painting remains.

For DP-J, A Birthday Card
Jay Nordlinger, National Review
Accuse us of favoritism, but we can’t help but share our own Jay Nordlinger’s endearing tribute to another TNC regular, David Pryce-Jones, on the eightieth anniversary of his birth. Head over to National Review to read Jay’s lovely salute to a masterful man.

No golf, no bridge, scared of champagne—it’s tough being a leftie
James Bartholomew, The Spectator
It must be exhausting to be a committed man (or woman) of the left, at least according to James Bartholomew in this week’s Spectator. Golf is out (too elitist). Champagne, too (prosecco’s a better, more prole choice, isn’t it?). Second homes? Don’t be beastly. Indeed, it’s a rough world that denies such pleasures. Is there anything left for the left? As Bartholomew tells it, bicycles and beards are quite acceptable. So next time you encounter a certified leftie, perhaps the feeling you should reach for isn’t the traditional scorn, but rather mercy.

From our pages:

The master off duty
Bruce Bawer
On the latest edition of Hemingway’s letters.

Harper Lee’s loving-kindness
Anthony Daniels
On the date of Harper Lee’s death, we look back to Anthony Daniels’s 2015 reassessment of the author’s work.
 

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