Paul Johnson

Pandora’s Paintbox

XXX The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art

By

Penguin 480pp £25 order from our bookshop

Art-historical scholarship is usually dry and forbidding, so it is a treat to come across a densely learned book which also provides fascinating details about the lives and tastes of people who lived in the past. Malcolm Bull, who is the head of art history at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Drawing, has brought together all we know about the rediscovery of classical mythology and its penetration of the subject matter of art, which was perhaps the most important single feature of the early Renaissance. His book is full of information and is a joy to read.

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