This handsome volume opens with two essays. The first essay looks at the young artist and his development; his time at art school, first Camberwell and then The Slade, and considers those who influenced him, especially William Coldstream. The second essay looks more particularly at the artist's main body of work, and considers again the influences.
The fully illustrated catalogue section provides much additional information about the individual pieces, many being accompanied by detailed descriptions and interesting facts about their production, often including the artist's own comments. The reproductions vary is size considerably, there are a good number of full-page or near full-page images, but at the other end of the scale a large number are very small. In total there are well over 400 of the artist's works illustrated, according to the publishers this includes every known oil painting, about 80 of which are reproduced here for the first time. In addition to the paintings there are also a number of representative drawings, designs, and a few rather personal more suggestive pieces.
The book includes a chronology, bibliography, and exhibition history for each work.
A quick glance at the content might suggest there is very little information about the man Euan Uglow, but careful reading gradually provides some insight in an almost incidental manner. We learn about the man from his work, and not about the work from the man.
Having the full body of Uglow's oeuvre to consider it becomes immediately apparent where his interests lay; the female nude predominates, still life features strongly too. There are landscapes but nothing like the quantity of the former two, mostly produced during summers away. What comes through strongly from all forms is Uglow's strongly analytical approach, his single minded interest in his subject and his striving for perfection; yet the work is never laboured.
It is a splendid book. The essays are well written and warmly appreciative of the artist and his work. It well designed and superbly illustrated in colour almost throughout, the only complaint being that some of the images are too small.