Blunt, Anthony, 1907-1983

Alternative names
Birth 1907-09-26
Death 1983-03-26

Biographical notes:

Born, 1907; educated at Marlborough College; studied mathematics and modern languages at Trinity College Cambridge, forming close friendships with Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, H A R 'Kim' Philby; Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, 1932-1937; invited to lecture at the Courtauld Institute by the director, W G Constable, on submission of his MA thesis, 1932; joined the staff of the Warburg Institute, 1937-1939; recruited by Guy Burgess into the Russian secret intelligence service; Reader in History of Art at London University; worked for MI5, and as an enemy agent for the Soviet Union, 1940-1945; Deputy Director, 1939-1947 and Director, 1947-1974, Courtauld Institute; Surveyor of the King's (later Queen's) Pictures, 1945-1972; knighted, 1956; unmasked as a spy by the FBI and secretly confessed, 1964; honorary fellowship Trinity College Cambridge, 1967; Adviser for the Queen's Pictures and Drawings, 1972-1978; researched and published on a wide range of topics, his special subject being Nicolas Poussin; publicly confirmed as a spy by the Prime Minister, knighthood and honorary fellowship annulled, 1979; died, 1983. Publications: include: Artistic Theory in Italy 1450 to 1600 (Oxford University Press, 1940); Franois Mansart and the origins of French classical architecture (Warburg Institute, London, 1941); The French drawings in the collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle (Phaidon Press, 1945); The Nation's Pictures: a guide to the chief national and municipal picture galleries of England, Scotland and Wales joint editor with Margaret Whinney (Chatto & Windus, 1950); Art and Architecture in France 1500 to 1700 (Penguin, 1953); The Drawings of G.B. Castiglione and Stephano Della Bella in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle (Phaidon Press, 1954); Venetian Drawings of the XVII and XVIII centuries in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle with Edward Croft-Murray (Phaidon Press, 1957); Philibert de l'Orme (Zwemmer, 1958); The Art of William Blake (Columbia University Press, 1959); Picasso, the formative years: a study of his sources with Phoebe Pool (Studio Books, London, 1962); Nicolas Poussin. Lettres et propos sur l'art. Textes runis et presentes par Anthony Blunt (Hermann, Paris, [1964]); Picasso's 'Guernica' (Oxford University Press, 1966); The paintings of Nicolas Poussin (London, Phaidon, [1966]); Nicolas Poussin with plates and illustrations 2 vol (Phaidon Press, London; Bollingen Series, New York, [1967]); The James A de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor General editor [A catalogue] (Fribourg, Aylesbury printed, 1967-); Sicilian Baroque (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1968); Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo Architecture (Zwemmer, [1975]); Baroque and Rococo: Architecture and Decoration (Elek, 1978); Borromini (Allen Lane, London, 1979); The Drawings of Poussin (Yale University Press, 1979); Guide to Baroque Rome (Granada, London, 1982); Paul Frart de Chantelou: Diary of the cavaliere Bernini's visit to France editor (Princeton University Press, 1985).

From the guide to the BLUNT, Anthony Frederick (1907-1983), [1930]-1972, (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Blunt was knighted in 1956. On 15 November 1979, the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, confirmed in the House of Commons that Blunt had been an agent of, and talent spotter for, Russian intelligence before and during the Second World War, although she added that there was insufficient evidence on which criminal charges could be brought. His knighthood was annulled. (Source: Oxford DNB)

Epithet: art historian and spy

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000496.0x00031c


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