Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World


Product Details

$28.95  $26.63
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 0.9 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Philip Hoare is the author of eight works of nonfiction including The Whale, which won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction. Hoare is an experienced broadcaster, a Visiting Fellow at Southampton University, and Leverhulme Artist-in-residence at the Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. He lives in Southampton


"Hoare's deep and illuminating responses to Du]rer's iconic self-portraits and empathic portraits of animals inspire questions of sexuality and of our use and abuse of other species, especially whales. In contemplating Du]rer's virtuoso skills and gripping 'vision of the dark, the beautiful, and the strange' and sharing his own immersive appreciation of nature and art, Hoare forges a new, reorienting, and exhilarating perspective."-- "Booklist"
"Although it centers on Dürer's life and work, Hoare summons up numerous other figures - from Luther and Shakespeare to David Bowie - and somehow makes them relevant to the Renaissance painter. A book of dazzling insight and liquid beauty, Albert and the Whale is Hoare's greatest work yet."-- "The Week"
"If Albert and the Whale were a room, it would be an alchemist's laboratory with a stuffed crocodile suspended from the ceiling, full of freaks and fascinations, reef-encrusted in time. Hoare's lush imaginings sweep you through 500 years on a sea of connections."--Sue Prideaux "New Statesman"
"Marvelous, unaccountable. Its strange charisma, the book's fluidity, the unpredictability of which disrupts everything, transmuting whatever is steeped in it into something rich and strange."--Kathryn Murphy "Literary Review"
"From Dürer to David Bowie, a delightfully eclectic study of the natural world and art." --Michael Prodger "The Sunday Times"
"In his typically allusive and impish style, Hoare has unfurled a whole tapestry of lives connected to Dürer's work and its themes. He extrapolates an entire cosmology, a way of seeing the world every bit as rich and penetrating as Dürer's." --Charles Arrowsmith "The Washington Post"
"Albert and the Whale is visionary: a tone poem put together from the lives of others. This book is all about shockwaves... Hoare is intoxicated by Dürer's version of the natural world, which threatens to be more vivid, more essential than the real thing. This harmonious and enviably conceived book manages it with full marks."--Jonathan McAloon "Financial Times"
"This beautifully eclectic book is so much more than a biography of the great artist. This is a book to immerse you. Like the sea in which its author swims daily, it braces and embraces. It beckons us ever on."--Rachel Campbell-Johnston "The Times"
"A magnificent new book. Hoare summons [historical figures] like Prospero, his writing the animating magic that brings the people of the past directly into our present and unleashes spectacular visions along the way."--Laura Cumming "The Guardian"
"A visionary, encyclopedic, erudite and poetic book."--Colin Eisler, Robert Lehman Professor, NYU Institute of Fine Arts, author of Dürer's Animals
"In Albert and the Whale Hoare moves beyond his own hand, which has hitherto brought hybrid biographies, memoirs and tremendous books on the sea and whales, to make something reckless, marvelous and unforgettable. Dürer would have loved it. So will you."--Horatio Clare "The Spectator"
"I loved this new book by Philip Hoare. It's a rare adventure in reading, drawing us into a swirl of narratives that mingle and resonate. The author is always there, as art critic, historian of culture, naturalist, biographer, and memoirist. His supple voice grounds the stories, with images and refractions of Albrecht Dürer rarely far from view. The rhythms of the prose are deft, seductive. What a fine achievement!"--Jay Parini, author of Borges and Me