British Art and the Mediterranean

British Art and the Mediterranean

British Art and the Mediterranean

British Art and the Mediterranean

Excerpt

It gives me particular satisfaction to see this book once again on the market. At its first appearance in 1948, still subject to post-war shortages, no more than a thousand copies could be printed. If I remember correctly, the edition had disappeared from the bookshops after about three months, and by now copies have almost become collectors' items. Much has happened in the art historical field in the last twenty years: research on English art has been carried on with unexpected intensity. Facing a task as ambitious as the present book today, I could well imagine that I would conceive of it in different terms; and were he still with us, I feel sure that F. Saxl, whose dynamic mind was never at rest, would have shuffled the cards anew and introduced new challenging ideas in the part for which he was responsible. Unfortunately, his untimely death in 1948 robbed him of the pleasure of ever holding this book in his hands. If I agreed to the wish of the Clarendon Press to reprint the original text and illustrations it is owing to the fact that so far as I know the book has not been replaced by another and better one. It would therefore still seem to have a definite function.

Corrections have been reduced to a minimum. Actual mistakes have been emended and as far as possible changes of ownership and interpretation have been incorporated. I want to express my gratitude to an old friend of mine as well as of the Warburg Institute, Professor Harry Bober of New York University, who volunteered to read the first part of the book, especially the sections on manuscripts, and eliminated some blunders. I am also indebted to Michael Bury and Michael Evans, both of the Warburg Institute, for their invaluable help in assembling the corpus of photographs from which the new plates were made. The staff of the Clarendon Press have earned my special thanks for patiently guiding this complicated reprint through the press.

R. W.

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