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How long is long enough to look at a work of art?

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

Short Life in a Strange World: Birth to Death in 42 Panels Toby Ferris

4th Estate, pp.326, £20

There is a vogue at the moment for books which use art as a vehicle for examining the writer’s wider life and interests. Toby Ferris will certainly not have seen this as in any way an autobiography, but what it essentially does is use a quest for the 42 surviving paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder as a starting point for an exploration of anything and everything, from the death of a friend to art history, family history, philosophy, anthropology, mathematics, music and paragliding.

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