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The Tate Britain Companion to British Art draws on Tate Britain's unrivalled collection to provide a lively, orginal and informative introduction to the story of art in Britain over the last five hundred years.
Considering themes such as fashion, eating, childhood, occultism, science, empire, religion and Postmodernism, Richard Humphreys examines works by all the major artists, both in their own right and placed in broader contexts to convey their full richness and beauty.
The cast of characters includes great historical figures such as Holbein, Van Dyck, Hogarth, Blake, Constable, Turner, Rossetti and Sargent; modern masters, and mistresses, such as Gwen John, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Francis Bacon; and leading contemporary artists from David Hockney, Peter Blake and Lucian Freud to Gilbert and George, Damien Hirst and Rachel Whiteread.
Beginning in Tate Britain's legendary restaurant and the strangely familiar land of Epicurania, the book offers a varied menu of treats, including Sir Thomas More and his monkey, Cromwellian art-smasher William Dowsing, gay connoisseur and spy Baron von Stosch, soft pornographer-vicar Matthew Peters, sheep farmer and pioneer photographer Samuel Butler, Simpkin the cat, a metaphysical garden or two, Robby the Robot, James Bond, and an exploding garden shed.
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