PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of London, M.A.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Office—The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, 74 High St., Oxford OX1 4BG, England. E-mail—[email protected].
CAREER: Writer, professor and art historian. Oxford University, Oxford, England, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, head of art history and theory, St. Edmund Hall, fellow by special election in fine art. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, Getty Scholar, 2003–04.
(With Keith Lockhart) Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-Day Adventism and the American Dream, Harper & Row (San Francisco, CA), 1989.
(Editor) Apocalypse Theory and the Ends of the World, Blackwell (Cambridge, MA), 1995.
Seeing Things Hidden: Apocalypse, Vision, and Totality, Verso (New York, NY), 1999.
The Mirror of the Gods: How the Renaissance Artists Rediscovered the Pagan Gods, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005, also published as The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art, Allen Lane (London, England), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Art historian Malcolm Bull's The Mirror of the Gods: How the Renaissance Artists Rediscovered the Pagan Gods, which was published in England as The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art, is a study of the small percentage of works from the Renaissance period that represent classical, rather than religious, subjects. The book tells the story of the revival of classical focus—the use of Greek and Roman gods as subjects—in artwork, and devotes a chapter to each of the gods. It is interesting to note that the book met with a polarized critical reception. Michael Hall, writing in an Apollo review, felt that "what makes the book live in the memory is the dazzling energy and lucidity of its writing: Mr. Bull never flags, never bores, and constantly provokes, illuminates and amuses." A Publishers Weekly contributor was also laudatory, finding Bull's treatise "compelling and his prose light and clear." Lisa Jardine disagreed, however, in a London Guardian article, noting that Bull "gives a robustly revisionist account for traditionally trained art historians." Jardine went on to note that the book "barely engages with Renaissance studies at the start of the twenty-first century." Apollo reviewer Hall, on the other hand, called Mirror of the Gods' "a tour-de-force in every way, and it will be discussed and debated for years to come."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Apollo, December, 2005, Michael Hall, review of The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art, p. 26.
Guardian (London, England), August 27, 2005, Lisa Jardine, "Decoding the Image," review of The Mirror of the Gods.
Journal of Religion, July, 2001, Cyril O'Regan, review of Seeing Things Hidden: Apocalypse, Vision, and Totality, p. 484.
London Review of Books, September 22, 2005, T.J. Clark, review of The Mirror of the Gods.
New Left Review, July-August, 2000, Jonathan Ree, review of Seeing Things Hidden.
Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2004, review of The Mirror of the Gods, p. 50.
Sunday Times (London, England), May 8, 2005, Waldemar Januszczak, "Art: The Mirror of the Gods."
Times Literary Supplement, October 7, 2005, James Hall, review of The Mirror of the Gods.
Oxford University Web site, http://www.oxford.ac.uk/ (March 16, 2006), brief biography of Malcolm Bull.