Art and Design

Designing with Light

By

An in-depth look at how light is used in contemporary architecture to delineate form, color, and space, with particular attention to major projects by international architects including Stephen Holl, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas.

The history of great architecture is the history of buildings that adapt creatively to light. Light possesses the power to transform an ordinary building into a majestic edifice that inspires awe. Architects rely heavily on light, looking to it as a tool that reveals form and forges the important connection between vision and construction.

Designing With Light, by award-winning architect Victoria Meyers, explores the myriad ways in which light is used in contemporary architecture, both internally and externally, to enhance the design and sense of space in a building. Vivid color photographs depict how architects employ light in buildings such as the Guggenheim Las Vegas and the National Gallery of Canada. Meyer looks at recent developments in the science of light, giving an overview of the history of light in architecture and demonstrating how the use of light in film, theater, and art has influenced light’s use in architecture. Meyers goes on to discuss how light creates architectural features such as color, line, and form, and how architects strive to control light through glass, windows, skylights, and the manipulation of shadow and reflection. She clearly illustrates these cases with intriguing examples from recent buildings designed by internationally renowned architects including Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Herzog & de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, John Pawson and many others.

Meyers’ lively, informative text and hundreds of rich color photographs are sure to fascinate those interested in architecture and design. 

Read more

Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto

By

The fourth volume (though earliest chronologially) of the only comprehensive survey in modern times of the surviving Italian frescoes from the end of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Mannerism, this groundbreaking oeuvre is an achievement in scholarship and publishing of the same magnitude as Abbeville’s Art of Florence and The Art and Spirit of Paris.

Following the success of the previous volumes in this extraordinary series — Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance; Italian Frescoes: The Flowering of the Renaissance; and Italian Frescoes: The High Renaissance and MannerismItalian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto presents twenty-two outstanding fresco cycles. Created during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, these cycles set new standards for painting and an innovative vision of man, paving the way for the monumental achievements of the Renaissance. It was at this time that fresco painting was not only commissioned for churches and chapels, but also for such secular places as town halls and royal residences with humanist in addition to religious themes. The fresco cycles featured here include brilliant works by Giotto in Assisi, Padua, and Florence; dramatic paintings by Cimabue, thought to be Giotto’s teacher; Pietro Cavillini in Rome; and the Sienese artists Simone Martini and Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti — all of these works still visible on walls and ceilings of palaces and churches spanning Italy from the Veneto to Rome.

The authors describe and illustrate such celebrated sites as the Church of Saint Francis in Assisi, the Chapel of the Scrovegni in Padua, the Public Palace in Siena, and the papal chapel, the Sancta Sanctorum, in Rome. Each of the twenty-two chapters is concise and authoritative, offering a descriptive and interpretive essay on all aspects of fresco painting, covering the artists and their patrons in the context of their cultural and political history. Each essay concludes with a diagram of the site, followed by a series of full- and double-page color plates showing the entire cycle, many reproduced from new photographs of recently restored frescoes.

No publisher until now has attempted to gather together and document all the important fresco cycles of Italian art from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. While this volume is the predecessor to the previous books, Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto easily stands alone as a masterpiece of art and scholarship which will be welcomed by art historians and art lovers alike. 

Read more

Great Country Houses of Central Europe

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland

By

Largely neglected and unknown, the palaces, villas, and castles of Central Europe are revealed in the revised edition of this dazzling history.

In the heart of Central Europe stand some of the most elegant and grandly conceived country houses ever constructed, from medieval fortresses and Renaissance- era estates to baroque villas and neoclassical palaces. Until the last decade these illustrious residences were inaccessible to the West. This landmark volume presents these rarely seen treasures of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, nations that shelter a superb selection of Europe’s finest country houses, built over the centuries by some of the continent’s most distinguished families. Richly illustrated with specially commissioned photography, The Great Country Houses of Central Europe tells the stories of these magnificent buildings and the families that constructed them, immersing us in the vanished world of the region’s aristocracy.

Lord Michael Pratt sets his discussion of the houses and their patrons against the backdrop of Central European history. Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing to the present day, this monumental study analyzes thirty of the region’s most important estates and introduces dozens of others. Although the primary focus is on the houses and the families that built them, gardens, grounds, and interiors are also illustrated in detail, including examples of furniture, decorative arts, and paintings. Splendid and surprising, these remarkable structures and the magisterial book that celebrates them display Central Europe in its full glory. 

Read more

A Key to the Louvre

Memoirs of a Curator

By

An art world insider provides a witty and penetrating account of fifty years at the center of international culture.

Art historian, curator, and museum director Michel Laclotte has been at the forefront of French cultural life over the past half century. This informal autobiography sheds light on his brilliant career with warmth and directness. Highlights include twenty years as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Musée du Louvre, heading the team that created the Musée d'Orsay, and taking the reins of the Louvre to lead the effort that culminated in the museum's transformation into the “Grand Louvre,” one of the world's preeminent cultural attractions.

Raising the curtain on fifty years of Western art scholarship, intrigue, and achievement, Laclotte introduces an extraordinary cast of characters who set France's cultural direction in the postwar period from Charles de Gaulle and André Malraux in the 1950s to François Mitterand in the 1980s and 1990s. His story overlaps with virtually every major scholarly figure in French art history of the last half-century, as well as Laclotte's mentors and colleagues throughout and beyond Europe, from Roberto Longhi and Anthony Blunt to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Millard Meiss.

An incomparable testament to a period of seismic change in the museum world, this volume will be essential reading for art world afficianados and all students of art and modern culture.

Read more

21st Century Hotel

By

Newly built hotels are being admired throughout the world by travelers and architects, and this strikingly illustrated survey features the best new designs.

In the past several years, hoteliers have responded ever more boldly to their guests’ demands for both luxury and aesthetic sophistication. The result has been the emergence of new trends in hotel design, which at one extreme increasingly blur the border between lodging, lifestyle, and living theatre, and at the other seek to reinvent the more discreet manners and style of the grand hotels of the late nineteenth century. This visually exciting volume by noted design writer Graham Vickers provides a timely overview of these trends, profiling no fewer than thirty-seven of the world’s most noteworthy new hotels, from the lavishly appointed Ritz-Carlton Miami to a Quebec hotel constructed entirely of snow and ice.

Vickers skillfully clarifies the distinctions between the various strands of contemporary hotel design by dividing the book into categorical chapters: “Traditional Interpretations” surveys luxury hotels a la the Four Seasons; “Mainstream Experiments” highlights fresh takes on the conventional business or tourist hotel concept; “Original Ideas” presents hotels with a special theme or purpose; “Designer Hotels” focuses on the unique creations of celebrated interior designers; and “Architectural Significance” covers hotels based in exceptional buildings.

The commentaries on individual hotels within these chapters are illustrated by a total of 210 color photographs, as well as the designers’ own plans and elevations. Additional features—a concise introduction to the cultural context of hotel design, a complete list of featured architects and designers, and a full index—make this book an appealing and useful guide for both the hospitality professionals who operate hotels and the travelers who stay in them.

Read more

In Search of Natural Architecture

By

A remarkable illustrated study by eco-architect David Pearson illuminating the rediscovery of ancient wisdom that, in turn, has inspired a spiritual reawakening in architecture.

In the past, building in harmony with nature was essential for survival. Today, our sense of ecological responsibility combines with a renewed understanding of the built environment’s influence on personal health and spiritual warmth to create a new type of architecture which reclaims that ancient harmony with nature. David Pearson, the renowned author of The New Natural House Book, has traveled the world in his quest to discover buildings that exemplify the three themes of this “natural architecture”: ecology, health, and spiritual awareness.

Drawing on his background as an architect specializing in housing, environmental issues, and holistic design, Pearson compiles a collection of “environmentally clean” and “spiritually healthy” buildings from around the world and across the centuries. Some are environmentally sound, some congenial to human well-being, and others spiritually powerful. He divides his discussion of these buildings, which are illustrated with 146 stunning full-color photographs and eighteen drawings, into six thematic chapters. The first chapter explains how ancient architectural forms like yurts and teepees reflect archetypes of human spirituality, while the second explores the rejuvenating qualities of today’s healing architecture. The third chapter focuses on ecologically aware building principles, the fourth on the lessons of traditional folk architecture, and the fifth on the culturally vibrant architecture of developing countries. The final chapter describes how all these architectural influences have led to a new awakening, which is embodied in architects’ organic designs for contemporary structures ranging from farmhouses to department stores.

Together the six chapters, which are augmented by a bibliography, a glossary, and a resource list giving contact information for the featured designers, comprise a provocative architectural journey, a must-read for anyone interested in designing or living in environmentally sound buildings that are in harmony with the landscape and the human spirit.

Read more

New Country Houses

By

A richly illustrated overview of fresh contemporary trends in the residential architecture of the countryside.

The thirty houses featured in this beautifully illustrated volume range from a Portuguese vacation home whose granite facade blends seamlessly into an ancient system of agricultural terraces to a Japanese family residence whose translucent walls glow like a paper lantern in the nighttime, but they all embody the same contemporary architectural trend: a radical shift in thinking about the residential architecture of the countryside. An increasing exodus from the stresses of urban living has brought a positive and powerful design consciousness out of the cities into new and challenging environments. New Country Houses explores how architects today seek to reinvent the country house and develop a new rural architecture for the twenty-first century, rather than simply remodeling or recreating the methods and manners of the past.

Exercising his keen eye for architectural style, the author divides the book thematically into four chapters which correspond to contemporary architects’ primary approaches to the challenge of designing for the countryside: organic, vernacular, contemporary, and experimental. The individual case studies within these chapters include insights from the architects themselves and are augmented by both detailed plans and elevations and no fewer than 175 full-color interior and exterior photographs. A full complement of supplementary features—an introduction tracing the history of the country house, a bibliography, and an index—ensures that this book will serve as a guide and inspiration to architects, their clients, and all readers who are interested in the aesthetically groundbreaking, flexible, and ecologically conscious way of living represented by today’s new country houses.

Read more

Orientalism In Art

By

The romance and exoticism of the Orient, as captured by 19th-century European and American painters, are brought to life in this important volume.

Nineteenth-century Europe was fascinated by the Orient. Napoleon's Egyptian campaign of 1798 initiated this phenomenon, and its history-the most notable episodes of which include the Greek uprising against the Turks in 1821 and the French taking of Algiers in 1830-was closely linked to changing attitudes toward the "Eastern question." Artists of the period, too, were captivated by these events, and the rich body of imagery they produced is the subject of this volume.

Incorporating much recent research, author Christine Peltre's elegant text retraces Orientalism's artistic history, in which the French and British schools predominated. The "high poetry" of the Romantics' Orient, often inspired by Byron or Hugo, strove for dramatic effect, as the works of David Roberts, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, and Eugène Delacroix attest. A different brand of imagery was produced by the "ethnographic gaze" of the century's middle years, practiced by artists who visited the sites they represented, such as John Frederick Lewis, Eugène Fromentin, and Jean-Léon Gérôme, as well as by others who remained studio-bound, including J.-A.-D. Ingres and Adolphe Monticelli. Work of this kind was eventually superseded by a "third style,"a fusion of European and Eastern elements, as seen in the work of August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Henri Matisse.

Witnesses to a history that they influenced in subtle ways through their imagery, the Orientalist painters also produced a history of their own, that of a spiritual and formal quest to find in the "East" the ideal of "primitive" purity.Illustrated with more than two hundred expertly selected Orientalist paintings and drawings, Orientalism in Art is an indispensable volume for art historians and anyone lured by the romance and exoticism of Orientalist art.

Read more

New Spiritual Architecture

By

This timely book reflects are awakening of interest in religious faiths and the emergence of a global exchange of architecture and culture.

While Spain’s Rafael Monco has just completed a cathedral in Los Angeles, Britain’s Thomas Heatherwick is designing a Buddhist temple in Japan, John Pawson is working on a Cistercian monastery in the Czech Republic, and Richard Meier has completed his Millennium Cathedral in Rome. As one Wallpaper* pundit commented, “religion is getting a redesign,” and the architect’s faith is as unimportant as his nationality. These buildings represent not only new ways of looking at religious architecture, but a vibrant cultural exchange that brings together the highest aesthetic and spiritual ideals, transcending religious and national boundaries.

New Spiritual Architecture looks at the approaches contemporary architects have taken to religious or meditative space, focusing on churches, chapels, temples, synagogues, and mosques that have been built in the last few years and represent a late-twentieth/early-twenty-first century aesthetic. These buildings demonstrate how new ideas and developments in urban, domestic, and public architecture inform designs for spaces intended for inspiration, worship, or meditation. The book is organized into five categories. “New Traditions” features buildings with radical formal idiosyncrasies. “Interventions” looks at urban sites designed to fit into the built landscape. “Retreats” are isolated sanctuaries that incorporate their natural settings as vital elements. “Grand Icons” examines the recent revival of large-scale religious architecture. Finally, the buildings in “Modest Magnificence” mold humble materials to generate a contemplative simplicity.

Each of the dozens of sites explored is graced with thorough documentation, including interior and exterior photography, both close-up and birds-eye views, alongside detailed floor plans accompanied by detailed captions. A sophisticated text by renowned architecture critic Phyllis Richardson weaves together the various themes and provides a crucial framework for considering what architecture has to say about the changing conditions of contemporary society, its beliefs, relationships, and material production.

Read more

Italian Frescoes: High Renaissance and Mannerism

By

The third volume in the only comprehensive modern survey of the surviving frescoes created during the later years of the great Italian Renaissance to the age of Mannerism.

Following the success of the previous volumes in this extraordinary series — Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance and Italian Frescoes: The Flowering of the Renaissance — this volume presents twenty-two fresco cycles, each representing a notable achievement in the history of art. The fresco cycles featured include brilliant works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Bronzino, Veronese, and Carracci — all of them still visible on walls and ceilings of palaces and churches spanning Italy from the Veneto to Rome. Here are such celebrated sites as the Sistine Chapel in Rome and Palladio's Villa Barbaro in Maser, as well as lesser known gems.

Each of the twenty-two chapters is concise and authoritative, offering a descriptive and interpretive essay on all aspects of fresco painting, covering the artists and their patrons in the context of their cultural and political history. Each essay concludes with a diagram of the site, followed by a series of full- and double-page color plates showing the entire cycle, many reproduced from new photographs of recently restored frescoes.

No publisher until now has attempted to gather together and document all the important fresco cycles of the Italian Renaissance. While this volume is a continuation of the previous books, Italian Frescoes: High Renaissance and Mannerism easily stands alone as an incredible treasury of art and scholarship, which will be eagerly collected by art historians and art lovers alike.

Read more

Fine Art of the West

By

This landmark study delves into the traditional arts and crafts of the wild American West and their lasting effects on contemporary design.

Visually breathtaking, Fine Art of the West brings together the most artistically significant objects created by master craftsmen from the mid-nineteenth century to today. B. Byron Price, a leading expert of Western American art, explores the fascinating origins of these objects in the Old West, as the legacy of Spanish-American craftsmen and the workaday equipment of cowboys. The story continues as he traces their influence upon innovative designers employing them as a basis for a new, vigorous tradition in decorative art.

Working saddles and their offspring, the trophy, parade, and presentation saddles, are discussed in depth and appear in stunning full-page reproductions, complemented by a definitive selection of chaps, cuffs, gauntlets, and gun leather. Price also focuses on quirts and other objects that illustrate artistry with hide and hair, as well as fine metalwork, including buckles, bits, spurs, and jewelry. Hats and boots, both workaday and fancy, conclude the survey. Contemporary craftsmen who carry on these traditions today are represented alongside illustrations of their work. A glossary and bibliography complete this first comprehensive look at one of America's most fascinating forms of artistic expression.

Read more

American Impressionism

By

An expanded and revised edition of this elegant and definitive volume, which helped establish the ever-growing passion for American Impressionism.

With brilliant scholarship and a wealth of stunning illustrations, American Impressionism provides a vivid summary of the entire art movement, starting with its roots in earlier American art and its relationship to French Impressionsim. The first edition was quickly recognized as the most authoritative and penetrating account of the movement, which has continued to grow in poularity since the book's debut. For this new edition, which features 25 additional illustrations, Professor Gerdts has added a fascinating new chapter on Impressionist themes. The volume also includes a thoroughly updated bibliography.

American Impressionism tells how the movement progressed rom an avant-garde aesthetic assaulted by critics up to its years of triumph and how the movement developed in diverse ways throughou the country including regional Impressionism in the South, Midwest, and West. All of the master works are here, from Childe Hassam's sun-drenched gardens to John Twachtman's snow-silenced landscapes, from Edmund Tarbell's coolly elegant ladies in dim, luxurious interiors to Frederick Frieseke's sun-dappled nudes.

Read more

Treasures of the Louvre

By

This large-format edition of Abbeville's popular Tiny FolioTM highlights masterpieces as chosen by the director of the world's most famous museum.

Two hundred years ago, the doors of the Louvre opened to the public for the very first time. The palace of the French kings had been transformed into a museum that today stretches over an enormous architectural ensemble right in the heart of Paris.

The royal collections first assembled by Francis I in the sixteenth century were later transferred to the Louvre palace, and this prestigious core was further enriched with artistic treasures during the Revolutionary period. The collections have been growing ever since, and are today divided into seven departments. Oriental Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, and Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities illustrate the art and culture of the ancient Near and Middle East and the Mediterranean countries. The other four so-called "modern" departments--painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and drawing-span Western art from the height of the Middle Ages to the mid-nineteenth century.

With superb reproductions of nearly 400 of the museum's most renowned masterpieces, this glorious volume provides a grand tour of the Louvre's unparalleled collection, and highlights the extraordinary range of artistic traditions that have gradually found their place in this museum.

Read more

Great Monasteries of Europe

By

This remarkable volume is the most comprehensive examination to date of the art and architecture of European monasteries, featuring an authoritative text and more than five hundred stunning, full-color photographs.

European cultural history is inextricably linked to the presence of monasteries, especially during the Middle Ages. In addition to serving as religious refuges, monasteries provided sanctuary for the pursuits of art, education, science, and book production. This lavishly illustrated book traces the development of the art and architecture of these important buildings, from early Carolingian examples in the eighth century to a modern structure by Le Corbusier in 1960.

This unsurpassed survey offers a fresh chronicle of a largely overlooked subject and hundreds of marvelous images, many of them newly photographed, of more than 150 of the most interesting and best preserved monasteries in Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Italy — all of which are accessible to visitors. Here are unique views of the art and architecture of such treasured places as Mont St. Michel, a wondrous Benedictine sanctuary off the coast of Brittany, and the fabled pilgrimage site in Assisi founded by St. Francis.

In an insightful text the author describes the cultural heritage of each of the monasteries portrayed and provides an introduction to monasticism and to the various orders dating from the early Christian era to the present. In addition, the volume offers plans of the sites, a glossary, and a bibliography. Historians and collectors of great books of art history will be intrigued by this unsurpassed collection of photographs and fascinating account of the artistic glory of European monasteries.

Read more

Ray Ellis in Retrospect

By

The first retrospective of the work of Ray Ellis, a celebrated American artist acclaimed for his paintings of Martha's Vineyard and the Lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina.

With an insightful text by a noted American art specialist and vibrant, color-infused images, this dazzlingly beautiful book reveals the full breadth of Ray Ellis's remarkable career. While Ellis is often described as an Impressionist because of his loose brushwork, bright color, and interest in light and atmosphere, his work is naturalistic and closer to realism.

Equally talented in oils and watercolors, he interprets the many sights and locales he has seen. In addition to marine subjects and coastal landscapes for which he is best known, this volume also presents his finest still lifes and paintings of cityscapes and travels. The works span several decades from the early 1960s through his most recent paintings.

Ray Ellis In Retrospect: A Painter's Journey also includes an illustrated, autobiographical essay by Ray Ellis and a chronology. Now in his eighth decade, Ellis continues to be passionate about painting. Still studying and experimenting, his greatest pleasure is to begin his next work striving to “do the best painting” he has ever done.

Read more

Women Artists

An Illustrated History

By

 4th Edition

Firmly established as one of the premier histories of women in the fine arts, Nancy G. Heller's Women Artists returns in an expanded fourth edition.

With coverage of the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium, nearly half the volume is now devoted to the remarkable period from 1960 to the present, when women artists emerged as the most dynamic force in contemporary art.

New to this edition are innovative contemporary American artists, such as Janine Antoni and Renee Cox, as well as major international figures, including Iran's Shirin Neshat, Shahzia Sikander from Pakistan, and the Icelandic sculptor and performance artist Katrin Sigurdardottir. As in past editions, all the artists' works are represented in large-format color reproductions, and the artists' careers are examined in concise critical biographies.

Read more

Italian Villas

By

This lavishly illustrated, authoritative volume presents the most notable Italian villas from the Renaissance to the present.

Roman in origin, the villa evolved from serving as a rural and farming center to a stately country residence. Over time the villa's agricultural function became secondary to a new ideal-a place for intellectual leisure and healthy country living. As a result, the new dwelling had to reflect a cultivated design as did its landscaping. Villas were no longer the work of unskilled laborers but of gifted architects, the best known of which is Andrea Palladio, whose style remains influential today.

In this fascinating volume, the author describes and illustrates 250 of the most remarkable villas from the 600-year-old tradition, some well-known houses, others generally overlooked. Presented here are panoramas and details of grand country villas and magnificent suburban estates, each with its own charm and history, and each of which contributes to a style that is still imitated in our century. The illustrations and text by Ovidio Guaita, representing decades of work, are grouped by region, north to south. Enriching the coverage, each chapter includes a profile of a personality — architect, builder, artist, or patron — whose work had a lasting influence on the culture of the villa.

Supplementing the color photographs of exteriors and interiors are architectural drawings of houses and maps. The appendices offer a glossary, a bibliography, and a listing of villas that may be visited

This splendid book should be of great appeal to those interested in architecture, art history, and travel.

Read more

The Art and Spirit of Paris

(two volumes, slipcased)

By

A dazzling successor to Abbeville's The Art of Florence, this two-volume tour de force sweeps through the entire history of the arts in Paris, from the Stone Age to the pyramid at the Louvre.

All the arts—painting, sculpture, architecture, urban design, interior design, graphic design, photography, film, fashion, the theater, and opera—have played a role in creating the enduring spirit of Paris. From a primitive village huddled on an island in the middle of the Seine, Paris rose to glory as a medieval and Renaissance center for art, as the cradle of the Enlightenment, and as the crucible of modern art and architecture. It remains a world center of innovation in art, architecture, and design, and one of the most thoroughly pleasurable of all modern cities.

Assembled under the editorial direction of Michel Laclotte, former director of the Musée du Louvre, and with the participation of outstanding scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, The Art and Spirit of Paris spans more than 6,000 years of cultural history. In two volumes, comprising nine insightful and wide-ranging chapters, and with approximately 1,500 illustrations, the authors chronicle the history of the visual arts in Paris, tracing their evolution and that of the social systems that supported them.

Volume I introduces the Gallo-Roman settlement described by Caesar and unearthed by modern archeologists, literally the foundation of modern Paris. From these beginnings, chapter 2 takes the reader through the dark period of the early Middle Ages, when Paris was ravaged by Norsemen, through the long process of rebuilding that led to the flowering of the Gothic and the remarkable masterworks of architecture and stained glass, Notre-Dame-de-Paris and the Sainte-Chapelle. The Renaissance city and the center of the Enlightenment are the subjects of chapters 3 and 4, illustrated by the masterpieces of painting and the decorative arts that established Paris, by the eighteenth century, as the Western world's center of the arts.

Volume II begins at 1800, as Napoleon consolidates his power and resolves to make Paris the most beautiful city the world has seen. Chapter 5 treats his brief era, which would echo in the French imagination for decades after, and which begins the reign of Paris as "Capital of the Nineteenth Century." The battles of classicism and romanticism and the advent of a modern "engineer's architecture" of glass and iron are followed in chapter 6 by the glorious Ville Lumière of Second Empire Paris, with its remarkable world's fairs. It treats as well the aftermath of the Commune, when a "New Painting" would be invented by the most beloved artists of the French tradition, including Manet, Renoir, Monet, and Cézanne. Chapter 7 brings us to fin de siècle Paris, the Belle Epoque, and the run-up to World War I, when a remarkable coterie of artists, including Picasso, invent an art for the new century. Chapter 8 examines the period between the wars, an era of refinement and consolidation in the arts, and chapter 9 brings the story of Paris up to the present, examining the remarkable ways Paris has yet again remade herself, as a city of spectacle and guardian of her remarkable past, while remaining a vital center of fashion, theater, and the visual arts.

A lavish selection of photographs, most reproduced in color, complements the lively, informative texts with a revealing mixture of much-loved masterpieces and little-known discoveries. Completing these luxurious volumes are nine photographic portfolios, featuring classic black-and-white pictures, reproduced in duotone, by such masters as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, and André Kertesz, which capture the spirit of Paris in visual essays on such subjects as the Seine, Paris by night, shops and cafés, and the city's streets and boulevards.

About the authors: Michel Laclotte, former chief curator of paintings and retired president-director, Musée du Louvre, Paris; Venceslas Kruta, professor, Sorbonne; Alain Erlande-Brandenburg, former director, Musée de Cluny and Archives Nationales; Claude Mignot, professor, Université de Tours; John Goodman, independent scholar, New York; Christopher Lyon, executive editor, Abbeville Press; Michael Marrinan, professor, Stanford University; Gary Tinterow, curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Andrew Carrington Shelton, assistant professor, Department of History of Art, Ohio State University; Jeffrey Weiss, curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Malcolm Gee, professor, University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England; Françoise Levaillant, director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

Read more