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Anthony Blunt

Died when: 75 years 181 days
Star Sign: Libra

Anthony Frederick Blunt (26 September 1907 – 26 March 1983), styled as Sir Anthony Blunt, KCVO, from 1956 to 1979, was a leading British art historian who in 1964, after being offered immunity from prosecution, confessed to having been a Soviet spy. Blunt had been a member of the Cambridge Five, a group of spies working for the Soviet Union from some time in the 1930s to at least the early 1950s. His confession, a closely held secret for many years, was revealed publicly by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in November 1979. He was stripped of his knighthood immediately thereafter. Blunt was Professor of the History of Art at the University of London, director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. His 1967 monograph on the French Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin is still widely regarded as a watershed book in art history. His teaching text and reference work Art and Architecture in France 1500–1700, first published in 1953, reached its fifth edition in a slightly revised version by Richard Beresford in 1999, when it was still considered the best account of the subject.
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