Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've said it before, but I'd read the phone book if Julian Barnes wrote it. So there's that. This isn't a book by an art historian, nor is it a book by an artist, however it is a book by someone who appreciates art. As a collection of essays, the theme seems to be about works of art that are, in a very loose sense, connected, and ones where the subject matter of the painting or the artist's life is somehow compelling. Barnes isn't saying "Hey, this is an important work because..." here, he's saying "These works compel me for these reasons, perhaps you, too, will feel the same." It's a very human, personal and yet intellectual look at these works. Some may not appreciate the style or the opinions; I enjoyed the former, and occasionally the latter.