Jonathan Keates

Treasure Everywhere

The Global City: On the Streets of Renaissance Lisbon

By

Paul Holberton 295pp £40 order from our bookshop

On a spring afternoon in 1866, while browsing in the back parlour of a print shop in Bunhill Row, the poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti was drawn to ‘a large landscape with about 120 figures of the school of Velasquez’. This was the kind of establishment in which everything needed to be linked to a famous name in order to get sold, but Velázquez, even ‘school of’, the work decidedly wasn’t. Rossetti liked it enough, however, to take it home to his house in Cheyne Walk, to be displayed amid a clutter of majolica vases, Tudor andirons, Jacobean bed curtains and the occasional wombat on a visit from the exotic menagerie in the garden. Later, having cut the canvas in two, he installed it at Kelmscott Manor, the Oxfordshire house he rented with William Morris, where the bisected artwork remains.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,