Learning to Look: Velázquez, Fra Angelico, Canaletto, Pollock

By Robert Cumming and Gino Ballantyne (illustrator)

Learning to Look, Book One of Robert Cummings’ new series Slow Looking, takes you on a journey dedicated to helping you explore art on your own terms.

ISBN: 9780718898052


Creating art, and the art of looking at art, takes a long time to perfect, but life is short. Robert Cumming shows that patience in mastering such a skill can lead to unexpected and huge rewards. In Book One: Learning to Look he shares his own slow discovery of the pleasures of looking and aesthetic experience, and then takes you on a journey dedicated to helping you explore art on your own terms. He takes you to Madrid to experience Velázquez’s Las Meninas, travels with you to Cortona in Tuscany to look at a Fra Angelico altarpiece, takes you to St Petersburg to immerse yourself in Canaletto’s Venice, and explores with you the minute details of a Jackson Pollock in New York. You will be whisked off your feet and your eyes truly opened by this artistic odyssey with Robert as your fellow traveller.

Turning the direct experience of a mute work of art into words is notoriously difficult, but in Learning to Look, Robert encourages you to embrace and articulate your own individual interpretation of art. Robert’s decades of experience at The Tate Gallery and Christie’s London and New York makes him a sympathetic and knowledgeable guide and companion. You will also be accompanied by the artist Gino Ballantyne who adds complementary insights through his sketches and drawings. Slow Looking is essential to your personal journey in the art world.

Additional information

Dimensions 254 × 178 mm


Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Having swapped a promising career in law for the art world, Robert Cumming first worked as a lecturer at the Tate Gallery. He then set up The Christie’s Fine Arts Course which developed into Christie’s Education with centres and partnerships worldwide. In 2005, Robert was appointed Professor of Art History at Boston University, Massachusetts. He has published many books devoted to the delights to be found in looking at works of art which have been translated into over 24 languages, sold over one million copies, and been awarded prestigious literary prizes. The Slow Looking series is the culmination of Robert’s work and life within the art world.

Gino Ballantyne a Scottish artist born in Malta, he studied at Glasgow School of Art. His work focuses on the human condition to compel understanding of both humanity and civilisation, exploring narratives of the ordinary and the terrible. Gino has exhibited nationally and internationally, Gino and Robert have worked closely together for many years.