Leo Steinberg, RIP
The art critic Leo Steinberg has died at age 90. Brilliant, bold, controversial, a prose stylist in a discipline not known for elegant writing, Steinberg was a larger than life figure.
Though he wrote incisively about modern art, his training was in Renaissance and Baroque art, and his most lasting achievements may be in the books he produced about those eras.
The Sexuality of Christ in the Renaissance and in Modern Oblivion is typical of Steinberg: a big, thesis-driven book that nonetheless is full of persuasive argument and evidence. His knowledge of, and sensitivity to, Christian theology, was a cut above most other art critics of the time.
I also love his late book, Leonardo’s Incessant Last Supper, which I reviewed in First Things. Read the review here.
NYT obit here.