Jane Rye

Art From the Edge

Simon Schama’s Power of Art

By

BBC Books 439pp £25 order from our bookshop

Simon Schama’s Power of Art accompanies a television series of the same name to be shown this autumn, and sets out to capture ‘moments of high-wire tension in the drama of creativity … masterpieces made under acute stress’. The masterpieces are by Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko, and the (somewhat questionable) idea seems to be that the very greatest masterpieces are produced through a process of ‘heroic self-dramatisation’ in times of personal crisis.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter