Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty

David Thomas

 This second edition and third printing of David Thomas's account of Criss Canning's life as an artist dedicated to the still-life genre provides up-to-date information and stunning reproductions of her works dating from 2006 to today-the oil paint was still drying on the last painting as the book went to press. If the earlier paintings demonstrated Canning's creation of sensational compositional arrangements of ceramic vases, exotic fruits and the colours and textures of fresh flora gathered from her husband's fabled Lambley Nursery, the later paintings introduce seashells and beautiful Venetian glasswares. A more pronounced philosophical introspection becomes evident, and closer inspection often reveals an image of the artist at her easel reflected in the glass vessels that hold the flowers. As author David Thomas suggests, in these paintings 'the pursuit of beauty' is amply realised.