• Sylvester's real achievement-consists of an almost unrivalled power to gaze, and to find language to express the rewards of intensive contemplation

    Frank Kermode, London Review of Books
  • Sylvester lists the qualities that make a painter great: "fearlessness; a profound originality, a total absorption in what obsesses him, and above all, a certain authority and gravity". All these apply in equal measure to himself, compounded with vast scholarship, wit and modesty

    Elspeth Barker, Sunday Times
  • David Sylvester is in many ways the most distinguished critical writer Britain has produced since Roger Fry

    Patrick Reyntiens, Tablet
  • Sylvester is not only the foremost writer on art: he is also a marvellous prose stylist and an outstanding mind. Original, erudite, witty and moving

    Cressida Connolly, Spectator
  • Everybody interested in the subject...will want this book

    Martin Gayford, Sunday Telegraph

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