Roger Fry Books

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Roger Fry was a painter, art critic, writer and member of the Bloomsbury Group who wrote a number of books about art.

The following is a list of books by Roger Fry:

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Giovanni Bellini

Published in 1899, Giovanni Bellini is a biography about the Italian painter Giovanni Bellini.

The book covers Bellini’s early life, the places where he lived such as Venice and Padua, the influence of his father, his art and more.

Vision and Design

Published in 1920, Vision and Design is a collection of 25 art-related essays that Fry wrote over the span of 20 years.

The essays explore everything from the relationship between ancient art and modern art, art and socialism, various types of ancient art, French post-impressionism and also includes 13 black and white illustrations.

Twelve Original Woodcuts

Published in 1921, Twelve Original Woodcuts is an art book of 12 illustrations of wood cuts by Roger Fry.

The book sold very well when it was first published by Hogarth Press. The first edition sold out in two days and it was in its third printing by the end of the year.

The book is currently out of print but first editions of the book sometimes go up for auction and are occasionally available in used bookstores online where they often sell for thousands of dollars.

A Sampler of Castille

Published in 1923, A Sampler of Castille is a travelogue and portrait of Fry’s travels through Spain and is illustrated with full page monochrome drawings by Roger Fry.

Duncan Grant

Published in 1923, Duncan Grant is a book about the art of fellow Bloomsbury Group member Duncan Grant.

The book includes a selection of Grant’s paintings as well as commentary from Fry on these specific paintings.

The Artist and Psycho-Analysis

Published in 1924, the Artist and Psycho-Analysis is about psychology and art.

The book is a short essay that describes Fry’s theory of an “aesthetic emotion” and explains his belief that trying to understand art using a Freudian psychoanalytic approach is wrong.

Art and Commerce

Published in 1926, Art and Commerce is a collection of essays about the art market.

Transformations: Critical and Speculative Essays on Art

Published in 1926, Transformations is a collection of essays about the various types of transmutations forms undergo when becoming a piece of art.

The essays cover a range of topics such as esthetics, culture and snobbism, art and the state, Chinese art, London sculptures, Van Gogh, Seurat, and modern drawings as well as a number of illustrations of such works of art.

Flemish Art: A Critical Survey

Published in 1927, Flemish Art is a book that takes a critical look at Flemish art and artists.

Cézanne: A Study of His Development

Published in 1927, Cézanne: A Study of His Development is a study of the life and art of French artist Paul Cezanne.

Fry shows both the essential development of the painter’s style and examines his individual works of art in an attempt to show the difference between the artist’s message and the way the public has interpreted it.

Henri Matisse

Published in 1930, Henri Matisse is a biography of the French artist Henri Matisse.

The book analyzes Matisse’s style and provides a comparative exploration with some of the artist’s contemporaries such as Manet, Gauguin and Cezanne.

Characteristics of French Art

Published in 1932, Characteristics of French Art is an overview of the various types and styles of French art.

The chapters cover topics such as primitive art, classic style, rococo style, Neo-classic style and romantic style, realism and impressionism.

Arts of Painting and Sculpture

Published in 1932, Arts of Painting and Sculpture is about the craft of painting and sculpting.

Art History as an Academic Study

Published in 1933, Art History as an Academic Study about certain problems student encounter while studying art history.

The text is actually an inaugural speech that Fry delivered in October of 1933 upon his appointment as Professor of Fine Art under the Slade Foundation.

Last Lectures

Published in 1933, Last Lectures is a series of unfinished lectures written by Roger Fry.

The lectures were written when Fry was working as Slade Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Cambridge.

The lectures cover a wide range of topics such as the art of Ancient Greece, Egyptian art, American and Chinese art, as well as a review of art history as an academic study.

Reflections on British Painting

Published in 1934, Reflections on British Painting is an overview of British art.

If you want to learn more about the Bloomsbury Group, check out this article on books about the Bloomsbury Group.

Sources:
“Duncan Grant by Roger Fry.” The Bloomsbury Group: A Collection of Memoirs and Commentary, edited by S.P. Rosenbaum, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019, pp. 209-212, degruyter.com/document/doi/10.3138/9781487573768-040/html
FRY, Roger (1866-1934). Twelve Original Woodcuts.” Christie’s, christies.com/en/lot/lot-5797616
Cezanne by Roger Fry.” Waterstones, waterstones.com/book/cezanne/roger-fry/richard-shiff/9780226266442
Verdi, Richard. “Roger Fry’s ‘Cézanne, a Study of His Development’, 1927.” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 151, no. 1277, 2009, pp. 544–47. JSTOR, jstor.org/stable/40480442.
Art History as an Academic Study By Roger Fry. 48 pp. Cambridge University Press. New York: The Macmillan Company. 75 cents.” New York Times, 28 Oct. 1934, nytimes.com/1934/10/28/archives/art-history-as-an-academic-study-by-roger-fry-48-pp-cambridge.html

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