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Nikolaus Pevsner was the best known and most important architectural historian of the twentieth century, admired for dedicating his career to areas of English architecture that had never been considered before.

Early life, Education and Influences

But this English specialist and honorary Englishman, knighted in , only came to England at the age of He had been born and brought up in Germany, didn't imagine that English architecture would become his life's focus, and had no wish to move to England even when forced from teaching by the Nazis. Amplified by analyses of Pevsner's writings and a wealth of personal memories, "Pevsner" is the first book to explain one of England's first celebrity scholars - a man who, against the backdrop of Hitler and the troubled politics of the s, had to rethink his entire career when England offered him his only refuge.

Pevsner - The Early Life Nikolaus Pevsner was the best known architectural historian of the twentieth century, admired for dedicating his career to areas of English architecture.


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This book analyses one of England's celebrity scholars - a man who, against the backdrop of Hitler and the politics of the s, had to rethink his career when England offered him his refuge. His building guides and canonical lists saved many historical buildings and his espousal of Modern Architecture reinforced its more high-minded and austere style.

Pevsner's German upbringing, social background and intellectual affinities complicate the picture.


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Games explores these seemingly contradictory influences and sets the record straight: a masterful piece of scholarship. This is a gripping and important story. In a lively, informal style he presents an account of Pevsner's German background such as not hitherto been available. Games is well versed in the inflated controversies around the great Sir Nikolaus The introduction and appendix to the new book deal entertainingly with these ideological arguments and misunderstandings.

We have to be very thankful for this. Convert currency. Add to Basket. In Pevsner: The BBC Years, correspondence from the BBC's archives provides a case study of scholarly thought being exposed to independent scrutiny -- a process with lessons for today. Get A Copy. More Details Friend Reviews.

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Pevsner: The BBC Years: Listening to the Visual Arts by Stephen Games

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It is difficult to appreciate now how despised Italian seicento — 17th-century — pictures were in Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mahon, unaffected either by the prevailing view or by religious prejudice, acquired — for fairly small sums — paintings of intensely Catholic subject matter by the then unfashionable painters Domenichino, Andrea Sacchi and Ciro Ferri. The painting now is now in the National Gallery.

BBC Northern Renaissance 01 The Supreme Art

In Mahon published his Studies in Seicento Art and Theory, which remains a fundamental text on 17th-century Italian art. The book was very significant in winning over the institutions of art history in Britain to the acceptance of Italian 17th-century painting as a major and respectable school of art. In the s and 60s Mahon turned his attention to Caravaggio, writing some very important articles and identifying pictures previously thought lost, including the Young St John the Baptist, which he saw hanging in the office of the mayor of Rome, where it was considered an old copy.


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  4. The painting now has pride of place in the Israel Museum. Mahon was always a generous lender to exhibitions himself, and in much of his collection was shown at the vast Royal Academy exhibition Italian Art and Britain.