The work of the eminent French cultural critic Louis Marin (1931-92) is becoming increasingly important to English-speaking scholars concerned with issues of representation. To Destroy Painting, first published in France in 1977, marks a milestone in Marin's thought about the aims of painting in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A meditation on the work of Poussin and Caravaggio and on their milieux, the book explores a number of notions implied by theories of painting and offers insight into the aims and effects of visual representaion.
Traces the trajectory between two paintings, Poussin's Arcadian Shepherds, and Caravaggio's Head of Medusa, and explores painting by opening up a conversation with the image. Considers key critical texts and correspondence on the paintings, and discusses allegory and The Golden Bough, the Arcadian landscape, and Head of Medusa as an historical painting. Includes b&w illustrations. Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)