26 November 2010

The Music of Painting named one of the books of the year

The Music of Painting by Professor Peter Vergo

A new book on the powerful creative links between music and painting by Professor Peter Vergo, Visiting Fellow at the Department of Art History, has been named one of the books of the year by The Independent newspaper.

Writing in The Independent, Michael Glover praised the way The Music of Painting discussed art and ideas.

He said: “This is a lucid and engrossing examination of the relationship between music, modernism and the visual arts. Why, for example, were Cubists so fond of the violin?”

Professor Vergo will also be interviewed on BBC Radio 3's flagship music magazine programme Music Matters on Saturday 11 December as part of a feature focusing on the book.

The Music of Painting: Modernism and the Visual Arts from the Romantics to John Cage is published by Phaidon and looks at how the connections between music and the visual arts intensified during the emergence and flowering of modernism.

In the book Professor Vergo explores how modern artists sought to translate musical rhythms and structures into painting and how musicians developed visual themes in their compositions.

He also analyses individual pieces of music and works of art, from Paul Signac’s musical seascapes and Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract compositions to John Cage’s silent piano piece 4’33”.

Like its predecessor That Divine Order, published in 2005, Professor Vergo’s latest book studies the many links between these two ‘sister arts’ as envisaged not only by visual artists and musicians but also by critics, writers and philosophers.

The research that led to the publication of The Music of Painting was generously supported by the award of Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust (2004-7).

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