A Closer Look at the Old masters
A visual delight, and a designer's dream-the decorative details of great European paintings transformed into beautiful two-dimensional patterns
Richly embroidered robes. Intricate lace collars. Elaborately laid floor tiles. Delicately carved and modeled cornices and capitals. These are among the details of decorative art that the Old Masters lovingly rendered in their paintings, to establish a setting, convey a portrait subject's social status, or sometimes just enliven a scene. Together these details-so easy to overlook in the imposing harmony of draftsmanship, color, and composition that makes up a great painting-form a veritable history of ornament.
This inventive book plucks these decorative motifs from the background of paintings by masters like Rubens, Memling, and Filippo Lippi, and transforms them into vibrant two-dimensional patterns. Seeing these patterns side-by-side with the original paintings deepens our appreciation of both. Pattern in Painting will be a resource for graphic designers, and a revelation for all art lovers.
Meet the renegades of Victorian art in this gorgeously illustrated exploration of their work and influence
In the revolutionary year of 1848, a group of young British artists set out to return a lost vibrancy to European art. Calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, they mounted an artistic front against what they saw as the confining standards of the Victorian art world, and the dehumanizing aspects of the industrial age. Among their ranks were Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Hunt, who found followers in Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. Their works drew from Shakespeare, Keats, and Tennyson. They also depicted religious and contemporary themes in striking realism, bringing viewers into intimate contact with the subjects and causing scandal in their time.
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
A beautiful facsimile edition of the last masterpiece of ukiyo-e
Yoshitoshi (1839–1892) was the last virtuoso of the Japanese woodblock print, and the One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, published between 1885 and 1892, were his crowning achievement. This series—mainly illustrating stories from history and legend, unified by the motif of the moon—is charged with paradox. In order to carry forward the tradition of ukiyo-e, Yoshitoshi drew stylistic inspiration from the very forces that were rendering it obsolete—namely, Western art and mass media like photography and lithography. As if they realized they were witnessing the end of an era, the artist's public responded enthusiastically to his innovative series—many of the individual prints were sold out on the morning of their publication.
This magnificent facsimile of One Hundred Aspects of the Moon reproduces each print at its original size, facing an explanation of the subject. A thorough introductory text, augmented with many comparative illustrations, traces Yoshitoshi's career and the genesis of this series. Printed and bound to the most exacting specifications, this volume will be a must for aficionados of Japanese prints.
By Gavin Blair
A visual journey through Zen’s influence on Japanese life, from calligraphy to the martial arts
Formed by a convergence of the Buddha’s teachings with Taoism and local tradition, Zen has had a profound impact on the art and culture of Japan. As a philosophy, Zen promotes a recognition of emptiness and impermanence. As an aesthetic, it is marked by striking simplicity and a reverence for space. It operates on the principle of wabi-sabi, the harmony found in all things transient and imperfect. Countless Japanese artists, artisans, and designers have engaged with the Zen tradition, their work the fruit of its wisdom.
Author Gavin Blair has spent nearly two decades as a writer and journalist in Japan. In these pages, he shows how Zen has found expression in all aspects of Japanese culture, be it the tea ceremony, origami, or bonsai. Gorgeous full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of the Zen aesthetic, from the hanging noren curtains that adorn entrances and doorways, to the intricate craftwork of a wagasaumbrella. Together these images speak to the quiet power of Zen.
Above all, Zen is an invitation to contemplate the mind, to cultivate harmony with nature and ease through understanding. This book is for any reader who is curious about Japanese culture and the Zen tradition.