Best Sellers

Watercolor

A History

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The most comprehensive and best-illustrated history of watercolor painting ever published

The term watercolor calls to mind atmosphere, luminosity, and immediacy―qualities that derive directly from the quick-drying, translucent nature of water-based pigments. In Watercolor: A History, Louvre curator Marie-Pierre Salé provides an authoritative and beautifully illustrated account of this versatile and widely beloved artistic medium.

Salé’s incisive text traces the development of watercolor from the thirteenth to the twentieth century in Europe and the United States, encompassing every type of work―from plein-air sketches to finished studio pieces―and a wide variety of artists. Here are Dürer’s detailed animal studies, Turner’s landscapes, Cézanne’s tireless explorations, Sargent’s light-dappled sketches, O’Keeffe’s pioneering abstractions.

This handsome volume features more than three hundred full-color illustrations, specially printed on Munken paper to capture the vibrancy and texture of the original works. It is sure to be welcomed by art historians and art lovers alike.

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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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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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Queens

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This tiny yet majestic volume introduces us to some 250 queens who ruled in their own right—who were crowned as the sovereigns of their countries or, in some cases, decided to crown themselves.

It begins with queens of the ancient world and ends with those ruling today, encompassing along the way both household names, like Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great, and those who deserve to be better known, like Margaret I of Denmark and Ranavalona I of Madagascar. Each queen is represented by her portrait—painted, carved, engraved, or photographed—and an interesting fact about her reign. This Tiny FolioTM will be the perfect gift for the powerful women in your life.

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Fine Bonsai

Art & Nature

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

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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Pieter Bruegel

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This fascinating full-length study examines all works by the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel within the wider setting of art during his lifetime.

The recent rediscovery in Spain of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s lost painting, The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day, has created even more interest in this much-loved artist, who was one of the Netherlands’ two great masters of satire and fantasy, along with Hieronymus Bosch. Although these two artists never met each other—Bruegel was born around 1525, a decade after Bosch’s death—numerous features link them; indeed, Bruegel painted several demon-infested hellscapes directly inspired by the older master, and he was known in Antwerp as a “second Bosch.” But Bruegel is most famous for his peasant scenes, often humorous and packed with anecdote, and for his landscapes, which poignantly evoke Nature’s changing seasons. His legacy to Netherlandish art was the enduring popularity of both these genres, as well as the artistic dynasty he founded, beginning with his painter sons Pieter the Younger and Jan Brueghel.

Critics have often remarked how Bruegel’s art, so keenly observed and richly detailed, seems to preserve a world in miniature. In this new monograph, Larry Silver, an eminent historian of Northern Renaissance art, serves as our guide to that world. He leads us expertly through Bruegel’s complex and fascinating iconography, allowing us to see his paintings and drawings from the same perspective as his sixteenth-century countrymen. Silver situates Bruegel within the visual culture of his time—exploring, for example, his relationship with the print publisher Hieronymus Cock—and within the broader context of Netherlandish history. All of Bruegel’s surviving paintings are reproduced here, with many full-page details, as well as all of his prints and representative works by his contemporaries and followers.

This volume on Bruegel complements Silver’s widely praised monograph on Hieronymus Bosch, which was published by Abbeville Press in 2006. These two books are the most authoritative and best-illustrated studies of their respective subjects, and together they present us with a panorama of Netherlandish art’s emergence into the distinctive form of the Northern Renaissance.

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