Hugh Honour, Art Historian and Author, Dies at 88

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Hugh Honour



Hugh Honour, a self-taught art historian who produced indispensable works on Neo-Classicism and romanticism and who, with John Fleming, wrote the monumental survey “The Visual Arts: A History,” one of the first to pay serious attention to non-Western art, died on May 19 at his home in Tofori, Italy. He was 88.

His death was reported in the Italian press and in British newspapers.

Mr. Honour moved to Italy in the mid-1950s to be with Mr. Fleming, and the two men, who were partners until Mr. Fleming’s death in 2001, entered into a highly productive writing and editing relationship. Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, lived near them in a rented villa and proposed that they oversee a series, “Style and Civilization,” which would explore significant periods in art history, each with its own brief volume.

The two editors accepted and performed brilliantly. Michael Levey’s “Early Renaissance” was the first nonliterary work to win the Hawthornden Prize when it was published in 1967, and several other books in the series, notably Linda Nochlin’s “Realism” (1971) and Mr. Honour’s own contribution, “Neo-Classicism” (1968), quickly became standard works. All were published under the Pelican imprint.




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