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Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen is currently Senior Master in Academic Extension at Sydney Grammar School. He is the national art critic for The Australian.

Christopher Allen reviews 'Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian Renaissance: The legacy of the "Natural History"' by Sarah Blake McHam

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
When the intellectuals, writers, and artists of the Renaissance sought a theoretical basis for the new styles they were developing – at a time when the new meant all’antica and the term modern was still coloured by associations with the Middle Ages – they found that ancient sources were relatively abundant in some areas and scarce or non-existent in others. Poets could find inspiration in Ho ... (read more)

Christopher Allen reviews 'Confronting the Classics' by Mary Beard

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
When Confucius was asked by his disciples how they should become wise, he would enjoin them to study the classics; over two millennia later and much closer to home, Winckelmann declared that it was only by imitating the supreme masterpieces of the Greeks that we too might one day become inimitable – putting his finger on the paradox that the greatest originality always has deep roots in the past ... (read more)

Christopher Allen reviews 'The Classical Tradition' edited by Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most, and Salvatore Settis

March 2011, no. 329 01 March 2011
Unlike China, whose history similarly goes back to the Bronze Age, Europe has been shaped by spectacular collapses and profound renewals, first after the Mycenaean Age and then with the fall of the Roman Empire, which severed what we know as Antiquity from the modern world. The new Europe that emerged from half a millennium of turmoil, cultural regression, and repeated invasion by foreign predator ... (read more)
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