Anthony Frederick Blunt

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Anthony Frederick Blunt, 1907–83, English art historian and Soviet spy, grad. Cambridge. Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art after 1947 and professor of the history of art at the Univ. of London, Blunt also served from 1952 as Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures and was one of the most powerful figures in the mid-20th-century art world. In 1964 he was exposed as a member of a Soviet spy ring that included Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Kim Philby. However, Blunt's activities did not come to official attention until 1979, when he was disgraced and stripped of his knighthood and other honors. His numerous writings include François Mansart and the Origins of French Classical Architecture (1941); The Drawings of Poussin (with Walter Friedlaender, 3 vol., 1939–53); Art and Architecture in France, 1500–1700 (1953); The Art of William Blake (1959); The Paintings of Nicolas Poussin (1968); Picasso's Guernica (1968); and Sicilian Baroque (1968). He also wrote several catalogs of the drawings at Windsor Castle.

See biography by M. Carter (2002); J. Costello, Mask of Treachery (1988); B. Penrose and S. Freeman, Conspiracy of Silence (1987); bibliography, ed. by E. Scheerer, in Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art (1967).

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Blunt, Anthony (1907–83) English art historian, director (1947–74) of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and surveyor of the King's (later Queen's) pictures (1945–72). Blunt was a formidable scholar, earning praise for his work on Nicolas Poussin. In 1979, his reputation was destroyed when it was disclosed that he had been a Soviet spy during World War II.