Best Sellers

Japanese Screens

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A lavishly illustrated history of Japanese screens—limited to 3,000 numbered copies

Japanese screens (byobu, meaning “barrier against the wind”) are made of wooden lattices with two to twelve panels, covered with a paper or fabric canvas. They are unique for being beautiful artworks as well as portable furnishings, acting as backdrops for court ceremonies or partitions for intimate tea services. Artists have embraced screens as three-dimensional objects, creating dynamic compositions that guide the viewer’s eye from one panel to the next.

This sumptuous book explores the 1,300-year history of Japanese screens. The authors, leading experts on Japanese art and culture, describe how screens developed from the eighth to the twenty-first century, from their ceremonial use in palaces and temples to their functional and decorative use in ordinary Japanese homes. They examine the stylistic evolution of screens and the wide variety of subjects, such as animals, the seasons, The Tale of Genji, and calligraphic designs.

Bound in the Japanese style and housed in a handsome clamshell box, this volume also comes with a poster-sized reproduction of an exceptional screen, suitable for framing. Japanese Screens will be an essential addition to any art lover’s library.

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Baobab

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A spectacular oversize photo book celebrating Africa’s most majestic trees—which are now facing an unprecedented ecological threat

Baobabs are one of Africa’s natural wonders: they can live more than 2,500 years, and their massive, water-storing trunks can grow to more than one hundred feet in circumference. They also serve as a renewable source of food, fiber, and fuel, as well as a focus of spiritual life. But now, suddenly, the largest baobabs are dying off , literally collapsing under their own weight. Scientists believe these ancient giants are being dehydrated by drought and higher temperatures, likely the result of climate change.

Photographer Beth Moon, already responsible for some of the most indelible images of Africa’s oldest and largest baobabs, has undertaken a new photographic pilgrimage to bear witness to this environmental catastrophe and document the baobabs that still survive. In this oversize volume, she presents breathtaking new duotone tree portraits of the baobabs of Madagascar, Senegal, and South Africa. She also recounts her eventful journey to visit these fantastic trees in a moving diaristic text studded with color travel photos.

Baobab is not only a compelling photo book and travel narrative, but also a timely ecological warning.

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Rodin

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Essential for every art lover—the definitive new book on Rodin’s life and work.

With more than 350 pictures, many never before seen, Rodin reveals, in great beauty and detail, the genius of the man known as the father of modern sculpture. The stories of Rodin’s sculptures, well known for their sense of fluidity and movement, are told through each stage of development from plaster casts to the glorious end result.

A world-renowned expert in Rodin’s work and a former curator at the Musée Rodin, Antoinette Le Normand-Romain enjoyed unprecedented access to Rodin’s archives and the museum’s collection in preparing this absorbing new study of the artist’s life and works. She details the evolution of Rodin’s artistic vision: from the frustration of his early career—he was denied entrance to the École des Beaux Arts three times—to his first critical triumph with The Burghers of Calais to the twenty years he spent working on The Gates of Hell. Rodin also includes reproductions of the artist's numerous sketches, emphasizing his ability to capture human movement in two or three strokes of the pen and translate his sketches into final pieces that highlight the unique character of his subjects through their physicality.

This new perspective on Rodin’s oeuvre is accompanied by photographs that illuminate the amazing details of his works, often in full- and double-page spreads. The photography undertaken for the book showcases both well-known masterworks—like The Kiss and The Thinker—and little-seen treasures, including many of the artist's plaster models and studies. Images of works in different stages of composition, and of the same work in different versions, provide an intimate look at Rodin's artistic process. With these splendid illustrations accompanying Le Normand-Romain’s insightful text, Rodin is the new authority on one of the world’s greatest artists.

 

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The Grand Medieval Bestiary

Dragonet Edition

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Now in an affordable edition, a splendid pageant of the animal kingdom as the Middle Ages saw it.

As the 587 colorful images in this magnificent volume reveal, animals were a constant—and delightful—presence in illuminated manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages. They were illustrated not only in bestiaries—the compendiums of animal fact and fable that were exceedingly popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—but in every sort of manuscript, sacred and profane, from the Gospels to the Romance of the Rose.

This book is arranged in manner of a proper bestiary, with essays on the medieval lore and iconography of one hundred creatures alphabetized by their Latin names, from the alauda, or lark, whose morning song was thought to be a hymn to Creation, to the vultur, whose taste for carrion made it a symbol of the sinner who indulges in worldly pleasures. The selection includes a number of creatures that would now be considered fantastic, including the griffin, the manticore, and of course the fabled unicorn.

Christian Heck, professor of art history at the University of Lille, is an authority on illuminated manuscripts.

Rémy Cordonnier, who holds a doctorate in art history, is head of the cultural heritage department of the library of Saint-Omer, France.

 

PRAISE FOR THE GRAND MIDIEVAL BESTIARY

 

This is a huge and beautiful book that feels almost like a trip to the Cloisters between two covers. —New York Daily News

 

 
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How to Live Like a Monk

Medieval Wisdom for Modern Life

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How medieval monastic practices—with their emphasis on a healthy soul, mind, and body—can inspire us to live fuller lives today

We know that they prayed, sang, and wore long robes, but what was it really like to be a monk? Though monastic living may seem unimaginable to us moderns, it has relevance for today. This book illuminates the day-to-day of medieval European monasticism, showing how you can apply the principles of monastic living, like finding balance and peace, to your life.   

With wit and insight, medievalist and podcaster Daniele Cybulskie dives into the history of monasticism in each chapter and then reveals applications for today, such as the benefits of healthy eating, streamlining routines, gardening, and helping others. She shares how monks authentically embraced their spiritual calling, and were also down to earth: they wrote complaints about being cold in the manuscripts they copied, made beer and wine, and even kept bees. 

How to Live Like a Monk features original illustrations by Anna Lobanova, as well as more than eighty color reproductions from medieval manuscripts. It is for anyone interested in the Middle Ages and those seeking inspiration for how to live a full life, even when we’re confined to the cloister of our homes.

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Ancient Trees

Portraits of Time

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Mesmerizing black-and-white photographs of the world’s most majestic ancient trees.

Holiday Gift Guide Selection -- San Francisco Chronicle

Beth Moon’s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon’s narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moon’s unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art. 

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Fine Bonsai | Deluxe Edition

Art & Nature

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In this deluxe volume, renowned botanical photographer Jonathan Singer presents his breathtaking images of the world's most notable bonsai.

This edition is cloth-bound hardcover with a leather-bound spine and an handsome cloth slipcase; the regular edition of Fine Bonsai: Art & Nature is cloth-bound hardcover with a glossy slipcase.

The practice of cultivating bonsai may be traced back some two thousand years, to the earliest representations of potted trees in Chinese art, and is thought to have reached Japan in the Heian period (AD 794–1185), a time of rich cultural exchange. This unique branch of horticulture attained its maturity, and received its present name, in Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868), and many fine bonsai are recorded in the woodblock prints of that era. As Japan broadened its trade and diplomatic contacts after the Meiji Restoration, bonsai became a matter of international interest, and today bonsai masters around the world have learned to grow hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs in miniature, training them into living sculptures. Their exquisite creations, which change with the passage of the years and the cycle of the seasons, exemplify the connection between man and nature, life and art.

In Fine Bonsai: Art & Nature, the finest extant achievements in the art of bonsai are seen together for the first time, through the lens of renowned botanical photographer Jonathan Singer. This magnificent volume is the result of an ambitious photographic campaign, in the course of which Singer was granted unprecedented access to the most respected public and private collections in Japan and the United States, including the mecca of bonsai, the Omiya Bonsai Village of Saitama, Japan, where photography is normally prohibited. Three hundred stunning full-page images and four lavish gatefolds present bonsai of all types, from quiet representations of nature to colorful fall foliage to bold sculptural forms. The horticultural and aesthetic characteristics of each bonsai are concisely and authoritatively described in the narrative captions by William N. Valavanis, head of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York. And because the container is considered an integral part of any bonsai—indeed, the literal meaning of “bonsai” is “tray plant”—the book also includes some twenty-five photographs of traditional bonsai containers, with descriptions. A further sequence of twenty-five photographs is devoted to the related art of suiseki, or miniature stone landscapes displayed in the same manner, and often alongside, bonsai.

With his groundbreaking first book, Botanica Magnifica, Jonathan Singer established a new style of botanical photography, characterized by an exceptional clarity of detail and richness of color, as well as a painterly chiaroscuro. These qualities are just as evident in the present volume; Singer photographs each bonsai with an artist’s—one might even say a portraitist’s—eye, capturing its individual character, and in some cases revealing qualities hitherto unsuspected even by those who tended it daily. Fine Bonsai not only documents the masterpieces of an ancient horticultural art, but also is a masterpiece in itself.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

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An Almanac of New York City for the Year 2022

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A pocket-sized guide to goings-on in New York City, also suitable for use as a planner

This attractive little volume, the first in an annual series, offers a day-by-day guide to the coming year in New York City: cultural events, sports, holidays, historical anniversaries, weather predictions, the night sky, and much more. Each week gets its own spread, with enough space to record your own appointments.

At the front of the book are several special features, including a 2022 horoscope for New York City and an overview of emerging trends in dining, culture, and fashion. At the back of the book is a digest of useful information for each of the five boroughs.

Printed on creamy, high-quality paper with a sewn binding, this almanac is the perfect way to celebrate the reopening of the Big Apple. It will make a delightful gift for residents and visitors alike.

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Yoshitoshi

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

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A beautiful facsimile edition of the final masterpiece of ukiyo-e—strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies

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—illustrating scenes from history, legend, and contemporary life, unified by the motif of the moon—abounds with stylistic innovations, drawn from Western art and the artist's own fertile imagination. Even as traditional woodblock prints were being supplanted by mass media like lithography, an eager public snapped up Yoshitoshi's images—many of which 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.

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A History of American Tonalism, 1880-1920

Crucible of American Modernism (Third Edition)

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A groundbreaking survey of the school of expressive, symbolic landscape painting that gave rise to American modernism―newly revised and updated

This magnificent volume, featuring more than 750 illustrations, is the first definitive account of the Tonalist movement. Based on original research, it tells how the progressive Tonalist landscape dethroned the Hudson River School in the late 1870s and remained the dominant school in American art until World War I. More provocatively, it also argues that Tonalism gave rise to American modernism, laying the groundwork for the artists of the Stieglitz Circle, and subsequently Milton Avery, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Wolf Kahn, and Richard Mayhew.

A History of American Tonalism places the key figures of the movement―such as George Inness, James McNeill Whistler, and John Henry Twachtman―in their cultural context, which was influenced by such thinkers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Burroughs, and William James. It also examines the careers of more than sixty other Tonalist painters, lesser known but highly talented.

This new edition of A History of American Tonalism includes more than one hundred new illustrations, as well as a new overview of the stylistic principles of Tonalism. It will continue to be essential for art lovers, artists, scholars, and anyone seeking a better understanding not only of the Tonalist movement but American art as a whole.

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Herculaneum

Art of a Buried City

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The first modern survey of the art and architecture of this miraculously preserved Roman town, illustrated with superb new photography.

The bustling life of Herculaneum was brought to a sudden and catastrophic end in AD 79, by the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the city’s larger neighbor, Pompeii. But while Pompeii was initially covered by a rain of loose pumice, Herculaneum was submerged to a great depth in torrents of superheated ash, which, uniquely, preserved the upper stories of buildings, as well as organic materials such as wooden furnishings and foodstuffs.

This handsome oversized volume opens with an account of Herculaneum’s destruction, and of the excavations, under way since 1738, that have brought at least a part of its treasures back to light. It then describes, in detail, twenty-six of the most important public buildings and private residences that have been uncovered. These include the Samnite House, one of the city’s oldest surviving dwellings, decorated in the elegant and restrained First Style of wall painting; the famous House of the Stags, with its luxurious marble pavements and its garden overlooking the sea; and of course the fantastically wealthy Villa of the Papyri, which has yielded nearly ninety fine statues, as well as the library of manuscripts for which it is named.

The splendid decoration of these ancient structures—in particular, their wall paintings—is presented as never before, thanks to an extensive photographic campaign carried out especially for this book. With these superb illustrations complementing an authoritative text, Herculaneum is sure to be welcomed by all students and enthusiasts of archaeology.

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Zao Wou-Ki

1935-2010

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The most complete monograph on one of the world’s greatest contemporary painters.

Raised in Shanghai, Zao Wou-Ki (1920–2013) rose to prominence in his adopted France, and was one of the world’s most celebrated artists at the time of his death. Trained in both Western and Chinese painting, Zao’s work transcended both.

“I wanted to paint di erently,” Zao Wou-Ki wrote about his decision to leave China in 1948, and shortly after he landed in Paris, his work took on in uences of Henri Matisse and Paul Klee. As he moved beyond the West for inspiration, Zao gradually moved beyond China, too, employing abstraction; enormous, multi-panel canvases; and bright colors that recall J. M. W. Turner or Franz Kline.

Prepared in cooperation with the artist’s estate, Zao Wou-Ki: 1935–2010 includes excellent color reproductions of more than three hundred works, as well as a biocritical essay, detailed notes on key works, a critical anthology, and an illustrated chronology.

 

Dominique de Villepin is a writer of non ction and poetry. He served as prime minister of France from 2005 to 2007.

Yann Hendgen is a curator and the artistic director of the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation.

Françoise Marquet is the artist’s widow and was a curator at the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

 

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