Anthony Blunt

From Academic Kids

Anthony Frederick Blunt (September 26, 1907 - March 26 1983) was an English art historian and the "Fourth Man" of the Cambridge Five, a group of spies working for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

He was born in Bournemouth, where his father had been a vicar. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated in 1930, and became a teacher of French. He became a Fellow of the college in 1932, and in 1965 was Slade Professor of Fine Art in Cambridge. He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles, a secret society which at that time was Marxist, formed from members of Cambridge University. He was also a homosexual and close aide of Guy Burgess, and it is said he seduced Julian Bell the poet.

After visiting Russia in 1933, he was recruited by the NKVD (forerunner of the KGB) in 1934. He joined the British Army in 1939 and in 1940 was recruited to MI5, the military intelligence department, where he had access to Ultra intelligence from decoded Enigma messages. After the war he became director of the Courtauld Institute of Art (1947-1974)

In 1945 he became Surveyor of the King's Pictures, and retained the post under Queen Elizabeth II, for which work he was knighted in 1956. He retained the post until 1972. He was particularly knowledgeable on the works of Nicolas Poussin.

MI5 learned of his espionage in 1963 from an American, Michael Straight, whom he had unsuccessfully tried to recruit. Blunt confessed to MI5 on April 23, 1964, but his spying career remained an official secret until he was publicly named by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979. His knighthood was immediately revoked, followed by his honorary fellowship of Trinity College. According to MI5 papers released in 2002, the organization was told by writer Lady Moura Budberg in 1950 that Blunt was a member of the Communist Party, but the information was ignored.

He was the brother of writer Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt and of numismatist Christopher Evelyn Blunt.

The Untouchable, a 1997 novel by John Banville, is based on the life and character of Anthony Blunt, its protagonist Victor Maskell being modelled after Blunt himself.

Publications

  • Fran็ois Mansart and the Origins of French Classical Architecture, A. Blunt
  • Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration, A. Blunt
  • Borromini, A. Blunt
  • Art and Architecture in France 1500-1700 (1953), R. Beresford, A. Blunt
  • Sicilian Baroque, 1968
  • "Roman Baroque architecture: the other side of the medal" in Art history, 1/1980, A. Blunt, p. 61 - 80, includes bibliographical references.
  • "Rubens and architecture" in Burlington magazine, 1977,894, A. Blunt, p. 609 - 621
  • "Picasso's 'Guernica,' Oxford University Press, 1969, Anthony Blunt

Bibliography

  • Andrew Boyle, The Climate of Treason (1979)
  • Alan Bennett, A Question of Attribution (play)
  • Miranda Carter, Anthony Blunt: His Lives, Pan (UK), ISBN 0330367668
  • Michael Straight, After Long Silence, the Man Who Exposed Anthony Blunt Tells for the First Time the Story of the Cambridge Spy Network from the Inside, London Collins 1983, ISBN 0002170019

External links

he:אנטוני בלאנט sv:Anthony Blunt

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