Tony Green is Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He taught European art history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries at the University of Edinburgh from 1960 to 1969. While in Edinburgh he gave numerous extra-mural classes and, encouraged by Anthony Blunt, worked at a thesis on Nicolas Poussin and the Seven Sacraments, which resulted in a PhD in Fine Arts in 1968.
In 1969 he was appointed founding professor of art history in the University of Auckland. He began to pay serious attention to contemporary painting and sculpture and especially to the practices of his New Zealand contemporaries He wrote many reviews and articles for New Zealand periodicals and exhibition catalogues. He was founder of the Bulletin of New Zealand Art History, which he edited from 1972 to 1985. While in Auckland, he began to accumulate essays on Nicolas Poussin’s paintings and on various theoretical issues in the arts. These were based on his teaching in seminars and they have been extensively re-written for this book. Two of these had ephemeral publication through the Dept of Art History as Rebecca at the Well: Questions of Text & Image and A Shadow in Arcadia. He is also active as a poet.
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This book hopes it will pose some critical questions of method for the study of the arts. These essays reveal a Nicolas Poussin that has rarely been noticed before. Is that because he has been so honoured as a great classical master – serious painter of serious histories and neo-stoic philosopher – that almost nobody has noticed his humour, or wit.
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