626: Philip Hoare: Albert and the Whale

In Albert & the Whale, Philip Hoare sets out to discover why Dürer’s art endures. He encounters medieval alchemists and modernist poets, eccentric emperors and enigmatic stars. He witnesses the miraculous birth of Dürer’s fantastical rhinoceros and his hermaphroditic hare, and traces the fate of the star-crossed leviathan that the artist pursued. And as he swims through his story, prophetic artists and downed angels ask awkward questions. What’s real or make-believe? Does art have the power to save us? 500 years on, Dürer is still waiting for the answer.

“He walks the sand before me, his heart like an anemone.”

Philip Hoare “Albert and the Whale”. First published in 2021. This paperback edition published by 4th Estate in 2022. Donated to the library by Philip Hoare and 4th Estate ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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