Best Sellers

The Pre-Raphaelites

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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.

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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 Art of the Pastel

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The only comprehensive history of pastel art, beautifully illustrated with works both celebrated and little known

The Art of the Pastel traces the evolution of this most appealing medium from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century—from its humble origins as a tool for sketching to the height of its popularity in Rococo portraiture, and its embrace by the Impressionists and Symbolists. Authors Thea Burns and Philippe Saunier, both leading experts on the subject, shed new light on the acknowledged masters of the pastel, such as Maurice Quentin de la Tour and Jean-Etienne Liotard, who used these magical sticks of color to capture the character of their sitters; Edgar Degas and Mary Cassat, who used them to reveal the unexpected beauties of the everyday; and Odilon Redon, who used them to explore the inner mysteries of the spirit. But Burns and Saunier consider the pastel work of many other artists as well, from forgotten—yet pleasing—society portraitists to such important names as Delacroix, Whistler, and Picasso.

As a rare achievement, their graceful yet authoritative text is matched by the color plates in this volume, which reproduce the harmoniously blended hues of more than 330 choice pastels, from collections around the world. For reasons of conservation, most of these works are exhibited only rarely, and then only in low light. Now they can be admired all together, without interruption, in this museum between two covers.

A delight for the eyes as well as an important work of art history, The Art of the Pastel will be eagerly welcomed by artists, scholars, and art lovers 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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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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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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Artists' Self-Portraits

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An insightful, lavishly illustrated history of self-portraits by well-known artists from early examples in classical times through its flowering in the Renaissance to modern interpretations.

In his fascinating survey, art historian Omar Calabrese reveals that self-portraits through the ages are both a reflection of the artist and of the period in which the artist lived. Organized thematically, the author first presents a basic definition of the genre of the self-portrait, interpreting the picture to be a manifestation of self identity, and including examples from an Egyptian tomb painting and pictures on stained glass during the Middle Ages and continuing to modern times.

The next chapter focuses on the turning point for the establishment of the genre during the Renaissance when the status of the painter or sculptor was raised from artisan to artist and, as a result, portraits of the artist were considered worthwhile pictures. At first a self-portrait was hidden in a narrative painting: an artist would paint his image as part of a crowd scene, for example, or as a mythological figure. On the other extreme, once the genre was accepted, it was practiced by some artists— Rembrandt, van Gogh, Munch, and Dali, for instance—as almost an obsession. In contemporary art the self-portrait can become a deconstructed genre with the artist hiding or satirizing himself until he nearly disappears on the canvas.

Among the 300 pictures featured here are examples by such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Velàzquez, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Ingres, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gainsborough, Matisse, James Ensor, Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, Man Ray, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, and Roy Lichtenstein.

This intriguing book is a fresh way to appreciate the history of art and to understand that a self-portrait is far more complex and meaningful than merely a portrait of the artist.

 

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