Art and Design: Art History

Ansel Adams (Expanded Edition)

The National Park Service Photographs

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A selection of Ansel Adams' breathtaking images, remastered to celebrate over 100 years of The National Park Service.

Ansel Adams was hired by the United States Department of the Interior to photograph America's national parks, producing this group of breathtaking images.

In 1941, Ansel Adams photographed America's national parks for a series of murals that would celebrate the country's natural heritage. Because of the escalation of World War II, the project was suspended after less than a year, but not before Adams had produced these images, which illustrate both his early innovations and the shape of his later, legendary career as America's foremost landscape photographer.

The invitation to photograph the nation's parklands was the perfect assignment for Adams, as it allowed him to express his deepest convictions as artist, conservationist, and citizen. These stunning photographs of the natural geysers and terraces in Yellowstone, the rocks and ravines in the Grand Canyon, the winding rivers and majestic mountains in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks, the mysterious Carlsbad Caverns, the architecture of ancient Indian villages, and many other evocative views of the American West demonstrate the genius of Adams' technical and aesthetic inventiveness.

In these glorious, seminal images we see the inspired reverence for the wilderness that has made Ansel Adams' work an enduring influence on environmentalism as well as art.

Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was one of the most prolific and highly acclaimed photographers of the twentieth century, and the author of dozens of publications. He helped establish the department of photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and founded the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson. A member of the board of directors of the Sierra Club for thirty-seven years, Adams was instrumental in the growth of the American conservationist movement.

Alice Gray is a writer and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in such publications as Art & Auction and Art News.

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Women Walking

Freedom, Adventure, Independence

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This elegant survey of more than 60 works of art chronicles the nascent liberation when women began to walk freely by themselves in public.

At the close of the eighteenth century, women began to discover a new sense of freedom, adventure, and self-determination, simply by walking in public unaccompanied. Previously, solitary walks by women were considered unseemly. An unaccompanied hike in the country was beyond imagination; to promenade by oneself on city boulevards was unthinkable.

This book features evocative paintings of women doing just that, by a range of artists, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, among them British portraitist Thomas Gainsborough, the scandalous Gustave Courbet, Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte, American masters Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, and Nabi artist Félix Vallotton.

With paintings act her guide, Karin Sagner takes us on a visual journey through this vital yet oft-overlooked aspect of women’s emancipation, from the promenades of the nobility to everyday walks in the city, on gentle strolls in the country or hikes up mountain summits. Quotes by luminaries like the Marquise de Sévigné, Jane Austen, and Simone de Beauvoir gracefully support her points.

A thoughtful gift for graduates, teachers, or Mother’s Day, this subtle but profound book is not only an illuminating history but a beautiful art historical survey and an inspirational guide.

Karin Sagner is an art historian, writer, and curator. She has worked at the Bavarian State Paintings Collections in Munich and has published several books on French and German art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her previous titles include Beautiful Women and Renoir and His Women (2012), both published in German by Elisabeth Sandmann Verlag.

 

PRAISE FOR WOMEN WALKING

Women Walking is a work of art, the stunning paintings nothing short of intoxicating. The history of women for the first time finding freedom, by walking the countryside and grand parks of Europe―not to mention climbing the treacherous peaks of Mont Blanc in entirely impractical clothing―is both captivating and entirely timely, given today’s growing walking trends.” ―Diana Nyad, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, a story captured in her memoir Find a Way. Nyad has also launched a the national walking initiative EverWalk.com.

“A beautiful compendium of moments when women have seized their independence and set out on foot. Even where they've been captured by male artists, you can see the glint in their eyes: so this is freedom.” ―Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City

"This richly illustrated volume offers an engaging social history of women and recreational walking with a focus on nineteenth-century Europe. Author Karin Sanger takes us along nature walks, mountain hikes, and strolls through different European capitals, as captured by a wide range of artists from the period, supplemented with excerpts from novels and other contemporary sources.” ―Kathryn Calley Galitz, author of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings

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Treasures of the Brooklyn Museum

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Highlights from Brooklyn's world-renowned encyclopedic art museum.


The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Located in New York City’s most populous borough, the museum’s 560,000-square-foot building is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece, housing major collections ranging from ancient Assyrian reliefs to striking period homes and Old Master paintings, along with Native American, African, and Asian art, and works by top contemporary artists. This handsome little book illustrates a curated selection of its masterpieces, including highlights of the museum’s renowned ancient Egyptian collection, its expansive holdings in American art, and its Sackler Center for contemporary feminist art, including Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. The perfect souvenir from the museum’s shop, or for any visitor to the borough, this Tiny Folio features spectacular photography throughout, as well as a special selection of images highlighting Brooklyn’s rich artistic history.

Kevin L. Stayton is Curator Emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum.

Anne Pasternak is the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum.

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Treasures of the New-York Historical Society

Highlights of New York history and culture from the collection of one of the Big Apple's most treasured museums.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society is New York City’s oldest museum, with a rich history of scholarship, research, and illuminating exhibitions. The museum collection of the New-York Historical Society comprises more than 1.6 million works of art, featuring an impressive collection of Tiffany lamps, paintings by celebrated American portraitists, all the known preparatory watercolors for John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and exquisite works by artists of the Hudson River School—including Thomas Cole’s monumental series The Course of Empire.

The Library is internationally known as a major research venue for the study of American and New York history. Its rich collections include more than 5 million manuscript items, 350,000 books, and several million photographs, prints, architectural renderings, and related holdings. The Library’s vast holdings of printed ephemera documenting daily life, culture, commerce, and politics from the eighteenth through the earlier twentieth centuries are unrivaled. The collections provide a continuous record of New York and American history from the founding of New Amsterdam through the tragic events of 9/11. The Library’s deepest areas of original source material include the Colonial and Revolutionary eras, the Early Republic, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age, with emphases on slavery and Abolition, temperance, social welfare, urban life, and architecture.

Now celebrating a groundbreaking renovation and the dedication of its Center for the Study of Women’s History, the Museum and Library present highlights from their remarkable holdings, from the folk art collection of sculptor Elie Nadelman to iconic ephemera from all eras of American history, for the first time as a Tiny Folio. An ideal souvenir for the New-York Historical Society’s visitors, this charming volume also features a special section of works depicting the city itself, alongside full-color photography and short introductory texts.

Louise Mirrer, PhD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the New-York Historical Society.

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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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The New Art of the Fifteenth Century

Faith and Art in Florence and the Netherlands

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A fresh look at the early Renaissance, considering Florentine and Netherlandish art as a single phenomenon at once deeply spiritual and entirely new.

Adam and Eve are driven from the Garden of Eden into a rocky landscape, their naked bodies lit by a cold sun, their gestures and expressions a study in shame and anguish.

A serious man, well attired, kneels in prayer before the Virgin and Child, close enough to touch them almost, his furrowed brow setting off the saintly perfection of their features.

In fifteenth-century Florence and Flanders, painters were using an arsenal of new techniques—including perspective, anatomy, and the accurate treatment of light and shade—to present traditional religious subjects with an unprecedented immediacy and emotional power. Their art was the product of a shared Christian culture, and their patrons included not only nobles and churchmen but also the middle classes of these thriving commercial centers.

Shirley Neilsen Blum offers a new synthesis of this remarkable period in Western art—between the refinements of the Gothic and the classicism of the High Renaissance—when the mystical was made to seem real. In the first part of her text, Blum traces the emergence of a new naturalism in the sculpture of Claus Sluter and Donatello, and then in the painting of Van Eyck and Masaccio. In the second part, she compares scenes from the Infancy and Passion of Christ as rendered by artists from North and South. Exploring both the images themselves and the theological concepts that lie behind them, she re-creates, as far as possible, the experience of the contemporary fifteenth-century viewer.

Abundantly illustrated with color plates of masterworks by Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Rogier van der Weyden, and others, this thought-provoking volume will appeal equally to general readers and students of art history.

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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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ArtSpeak

A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present

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A revised and expanded third edition of the leading lexicon of contemporary art, now illustrated in full color throughout.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of its original publication, the best-selling ArtSpeak returns in a fully redesigned third edition, featuring nearly 150 alphabetical entries—30 of them entirely new, and others updated—that explain the who, when, where, and what of postwar and contemporary art, from Abstract Expressionism to zeitgeist. These concise essays on key artistic terms are written with wit and common sense by veteran art historian and critic Robert Atkins, who also provides a year-by-year timeline of world and art-world events from 1945 to the present. Some 80 images, most in full color, illustrate iconic works of the movements discussed, making ArtSpeak a visual as well as a textual reference.

The new terms in this edition of ArtSpeak include not only recent movements, such as the Leipzig School and San Francisco’s Mission School, but also past movements that have attained a new critical prominence, such as Japan’s Mono-ha group and Brazilian Neoconcretism. Also discussed are the growing constellation of new media and intermedia practices, the social and economic structures of the art world, and the theoretical concepts that interest artists and critics today. Particular attention is given to the key terms of contemporary Chinese art—from Rustic Realism to Political Pop—reflecting China’s growing importance on the global scene.

Long established as an indispensable reference for art-world neophytes and seasoned professionals alike, ArtSpeak will continue to attract a broad and appreciative audience in this attractive new edition.

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The History of Florence in Painting

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A landmark volume that tells the story of the archetypal Renaissance city anew, through its art.

Located at the heart of the Italian peninsula, Florence was already a center of commerce and fine craftsmanship by 1252, when it began to mint its own currency, the gold florin, the “dollar of the Middle Ages.” The great wealth amassed by the Medici, the Strozzi, the Pitti, and other merchant and banking families was in some part responsible for the flowering of the arts, literature, philosophy, and science in the period that followed, a phenomenon that even then was recognized as, and called, a renaissance. The legacy of this great epoch, both tangible and spiritual, ensured that Florence would remain a beacon of culture through its succeeding centuries of ducal rule, eventually becoming an essential stop on the Grand Tour and a font of inspiration for figures like Stendhal and Ruskin.

And Florence was all along a city of painters, whose works not only record and interpret its history—its sights; the likenesses of its leaders and luminaries; its battles, civic myths, and patron saints—but are also an integral part of that history themselves. In this magnificent volume are assembled a wide variety of artworks, both familiar and rarely seen, that, interwoven with an authoritative text, chronicle the changing fortunes of Florence—from the age of Cimabue and Giotto, through the High Renaissance of Leonardo and Michelangelo, to the Mannerism of Vasari and Bronzino, and even to the era of modern travelers like Sargent and Degas.

The History of Florence in Painting is a feast for the eyes and the intellect, and a worthy companion to the previous volumes in this series, which present the histories of Venice, Paris, and Rome in painting.

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Selling Russia's Treasures

The Soviet Trade in Nationalized Art, 1917-1938

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An authoritative illustrated account of the unprecedented sale of Russia’s cultural patrimony by the Soviet government.

Selling Russia’s Treasures documents one of the great cultural dramas of the twentieth century: the sale, by a cash-hungry Soviet government, of the artistic treasures accumulated by the Russian royal family, aristocracy, and church over the centuries and nationalized after the October 1917 revolution. An astonishing variety of objects, from icons and illuminated manuscripts to Fabergé eggs and Old Master paintings, entered the collections of wealthy westerners like Andrew Mellon; in fact, the canvases he purchased from the Hermitage now form the core of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Written by the leading experts in the field and long regarded as the definitive treatment of its subject, the original Russian edition of Selling Russia’s Treasures is sought after by scholars and laymen alike. Now, for the first time, this important book is made available in English, in a revised and expanded edition that includes new material on the secret files of the Hermitage, the sale of religious art, and the loss of twentieth-century French paintings from the Museum of New Western Art.

Numerous color plates reunite long-dispersed masterworks, if only on the page, and rare photographs and archival documents help bring the buried history of the “Stalin sales” to light. Several appendices—including a checklist of pieces sold from Russia’s crown jewels, a chronology, and biographies of key figures—add to the value of this volume, which not only reveals an important episode of cultural history, but is also relevant to contemporary debates about museum deaccessioning and the repatriation of cultural objects.

Distributed for the M.T. Abraham Center for the Visual Arts Foundation

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Greek and Roman Mosaics

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A masterly overview of a rich and varied ancient art, illustrated in vibrant color

Mosaic has been called “painting for eternity,” and it is in fact one of the few arts of antiquity to survive in something like its original condition and variety. Mosaic pavements with geometric and figural motifs first appeared in Greece at the end of the fifth century BC and subsequently spread throughout the entire classical world, from the palaces of the Greco-Bactrian rulers of present-day Afghanistan to the villas of Roman Britain. Local workshops cultivated many distinctive regional styles, while traveling teams of Hellenistic craftsmen produced figural mosaics of stunning refinement, often modeled after famous paintings; indeed, their work constitutes one of our only records of classical Greek painting, which has been almost entirely lost.

The styles and techniques of the ancient mosaicist’s art are given a concise yet authoritative exposition in the first part of this handsome volume. The second, and larger, part conducts the reader on a chronological tour of the most important centers of the art form’s development, from the Macedonian capital of Pella, whose compositions in natural pebbles set a high artistic standard for mosaics at the very beginning of their history, to the Basilica of San Vitale at Ravenna, whose wall and vault mosaics, with their glittering vision of a triumphant Christianity, mark the transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages. Special attention is given to Pompeii and its surroundings, where the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 preserved intact an astonishing variety of mosaics, including such ambitious figural scenes as the famous Alexander mosaic, composed of some four million miniscule tesserae, as well as characteristically Roman pavements in black and white, and the brightly colored wall mosaics of garden grottoes.

Featuring more than two hundred newly commissioned photographs, Greek and Roman Mosaics is the first survey of its subject to be illustrated in full color. It will be a necessary addition to every art lover’s library, and a worthy companion to Abbeville’s Italian Mosaics: 300–1300.

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Renaissance Intarsia

Masterpieces of Wood Inlay

The first moden survey of a fascinating yet underappreciated art form, abundantly illustrated with new color photography

Among the so-called “minor arts” that flourished in the Italian Renaissance, perhaps the most astounding in its virtuosity was that of intarsia, or wood inlay, in which countless pieces of wood of various species were fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle so as to form exquisite pictures. The masters of intarsia adopted the newly developed technique of linear perspective to depict their characteristic themes, namely, cityscapes viewed through an archway and illusionistic renderings of half-open cabinets filled with liturgical or scholarly equipment. At first these enchanting scenes in wood were found mainly in ecclesiastical settings—on choir stalls and altar frontals, and in sacristies—but by the later Quattrocento they were also used to decorate the studioli, or private studies, of powerful secular patrons. Eventually, in the Cinquecento, intarsists began to push the limits of their medium with figural scenes of ever-greater complexity; this ambitious yet perhaps quixotic attempt to rival the art of painting led to many technical and aesthetic innovations, but also to an abandonment of intarsia’s natural strengths and its ultimate decline as an independent art.

In this volume, a team of noted Italian art historians trace the evolution of Renaissance intarsia through a discussion of twelve of the most important intarsia cycles. These include the famous studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro in the ducal palace at Urbino; the sacristy of Santa Maria in Organo at Verona, which Vasari described as the most beautiful in all of Italy; and the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, the cartoons for which were prepared by Lorenzo Lotto. Drawing on the latest scholarship and, in some cases, newly discovered documentary evidence, the authors explain the historical context and iconography of these masterpieces, as well as their connections to the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the time. Their insightful essays are illustrated with some two hundred new color images, the result of an extensive photographic campaign carried out exclusively for this work.

Admirably filling in a unique chapter of art history, Renaissance Intarsia will be essential reading for scholars and enthusiasts of art, and a powerful source of inspiration for contemporary artists and craftsmen.

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The Grand Medieval Bestiary

The Animal in Illuminated Manuscripts

A splendid pageant of the animal kingdom as the Middle Ages saw it, illustrated with miniatures of every period and style, many never before published

As the 587 colorful images in this magnificent volume reveal, animals were a constant—and delightful—presence in illuminated manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages. Many proto-zoological illustrations, of great charm but variable accuracy, are found in the bestiaries, or compendiums of animal lore, that were exceedingly popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But animals are depicted in every other sort of illuminated manuscript as well, from the eighth-century Echternach Gospels, with its geometrically schematized symbols of the Evangelists, to the early fifteenth-century Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, with its famously naturalistic scenes of peasant and aristocratic life.

In his insightful opening chapters, the noted art historian Christian Heck explains that the prevalence of animals in illuminated manuscripts reflects their importance in medieval thought, an importance due in part to the agricultural society of that age, in which a variety of species—and not just docile pets—were the daily companions of man. Animals also had a greater symbolic significance than they do today: in popular fables, such as those of Reynard the Fox, they held up a mirror to the follies of mankind, and on the religious plane, they were understood as an integral part of God’s creation, whose attributes and behaviors could be taken as clues to His plan of salvation.

The main part of the book explores the complex and fascinating iconography of the individual creatures most frequently depicted by medieval miniaturists. It is arranged in the manner of a proper bestiary, with essays on one hundred animals alphabetized by their Latin names, from the alauda, or lark, whose morning song was thought to be a hymn to Creation, to the vultur, which enjoyed a certain respect due to its impressive appearance, but whose taste for carrion also 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, tamable only by a gentle maiden. Not merely a study of art history, The Grand Medieval Bestiary uses a theme of timeless interest to present a panorama of medieval life and thought that will captivate even the most sophisticated modern reader.

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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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Masterpieces of Classical Chinese Painting

A beautifully designed album of the finest paintings from collections across China.

This oversized volume presents 105 important paintings in chronological order, from the Eastern Jin dynasty (AD 317–420) to the end of the nineteenth century. These masterworks range from brightly colored and crisply delineated Buddhist frescoes to the muted yet evocative ink-wash landscapes of the literati painters. Each spread is devoted to a single painting: on the verso the work is reproduced in full, with a narrative caption that describes its style, iconography, and historical context; and on the recto there appears a gorgeously printed full-page detail that allows the reader to appreciate the true qualities of the work. A general historical introduction skillfully traces the development of the three major genres of Chinese painting—figurative, landscape, and bird-and-flower—through each successive dynasty.

The reader’s enjoyment of the artistic treasures gathered within these pages will be heightened by the refined luxury of the book’s design. Printed on a premium paper whose subtle texture recalls the feel of silk, it is crafted in the traditional Chinese manner, with folded leaves and a hand-sewn thread binding. Its soft covers are protected by an elegant wraparound case stamped in gold. A worthy monument to a great cultural tradition, Masterpieces of Classical Chinese Painting will appeal to lovers of both fine editions and fine art.

Zheng Xinmiao is director of the Palace Museum in Beijing. Zhang Hongxing is a senior curator and researcher at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Shao Jingjing is a curator at the National Museum of China. Guo Guang is general manager of CYPI Press. Zhang Bo is a historian of Ming and Qing dynasty art. Jiang Peng is an expert in scroll paintings of the Song through Qing dynasties. Li Lin, director of the Department of Art History at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, specializes in the earlier history of Chinese painting.

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The History of Rome in Painting

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A sumptuously illustrated history of the Eternal City—the capital of Italy and world art—as captured by painters from the Antiquity through the twentieth century.

Traditionally founded by its namesake Romulus in 753 BC, Rome began modestly, as a little village of thatched huts on the Palatine Hill. By the third century BC, it controlled the entire Italian peninsula, and by the first century BC, much of the known world. Rome’s fortunes have stumbled more than once since then—indeed, there have famously been times when cows grazed on the Forum—but it has always reemerged as a leading city, thanks to its status as the seat of Christendom. Through the centuries, artists from all over Europe have been drawn to Rome, both to work in the service of the Church and to learn from the accumulated masterpieces.

This luxuriously oversized book uses Rome’s artistic riches to chronicle the eventful history of the city itself. We are shown the customs and beliefs of the ancient Romans through their own frescoes and mosaics, and their greatest deeds in the history paintings of later masters such as Poussin and David. We follow the fitful rise of Rome, which eventually blossoms forth into the supreme achievements of Michelangelo and Raphael. With eyes uplifted to frescoed vaults, we watch the great decorators of the Baroque add to the city’s store of monuments, which are then deftly—and sometimes quite imaginatively—recorded by the vedutisti of the eighteenth century. Finally, in canvases by a surprising range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists—from Sargent to de Chirico, and even de Kooning—we see Rome in its role as the capital of a unified Italy, and of the modern Western imagination.

With its more than three hundred full-color illustrations, including four spectacular gatefolds; its insightful text, written by leading art historians; and its valuable apparatus, including capsule biographies of 175 artists; The History of Rome in Painting is an important achievement in scholarship and publishing and a fitting tribute to the Eternal City. Like its predecessors The History of Venice in Painting and The History of Paris in Painting, it belongs in every art lover’s library.

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Italian Mosaics

300 - 1300

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A prequel to the extraordinary, highly praised Italian Frescoes series from Abbeville Press, this stunning volume features one thousand years of important Italian mosaics.

Ever since their emergence as a major art form in the Hellenistic era, mosaics have been prized for the glittering radiance of their colors, their permanent, almost eternal nature, and the painstaking craftsmanship required to create them. In late antique and medieval Italy, mosaics were the most important medium for monumental religious art, just as frescoes would be in the Renaissance. In fact, the mosaics that adorn the fourth to sixth-century churches, baptisteries, and mausoleums of Rome, Ravenna, Naples, and Milan are among the first examples of Christian pictorial art on a grand scale. These early works were still indebted to classical conventions, but as the Middle Ages progressed, Italian mosaics came to more clearly reflect a Christian, transcendentalist worldview. Their style usually also displayed a strong Byzantine influence; indeed, in the final flowering of the art in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, many Italian mosaics were actually executed by Byzantine craftsmen.

Italian Mosaics, 300–1300 opens with a concise history of the mosaicist’s art in the millennium under consideration, tying together the strands of style, iconography, technique, and cultural context. The central part of the book examines nineteen celebrated mosaic cycles in detail, including those of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, the Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome, and the Cathedral of Monreale near Palermo. Each cycle is introduced by a descriptive and interpretive essay and then illustrated in its entirety in a series of stunning full- and double-page color photographs, most of which were specially commissioned for this volume.

The first survey of its subject to be published, Italian Mosaics will stand alongside Abbeville’s Italian Frescoes series as an essential addition to the literature on art history.

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The Horse

From Cave Paintings to Modern Art

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A luxuriously slipcased tome that features 30,000 years of horses in art—from cave paintings and illuminated manuscripts to sculptures, paintings, and photographs.

From the caves at Lascaux to the European racetracks of Degas to the American West of Frederic Remington, the horse has never ceased to inspire the human imagination. Once omnipresent—on the battlefield, in agricultural work, and in transport—horses have little by little disappeared from our immediate environment, but they remain fixtures throughout our museums, atop pedestals in our town squares, and in the landscapes of memory.

Transcending genres, places, and eras, specialists on the history of the horse and its representation in art create an ideal panorama on the subject, guiding us through the rich legacy of The Horse: From Cave Paintings to Modern Art. With these scholars we cross the principal continents from east to west and from prehistory to the present day, examining an ever-surprising gallery of images that illustrate how dearly horses have been prized by all human societies fortunate enough to encounter them.

The artistic styles represented in this book offer something for every taste. There are cave paintings and sculptures, medieval illuminated manuscripts and photographs, depictions of battle, and scenes of leisure. Uccello, Rubens, Van Dyck, Velásquez, Géricault, Stubbs, David, and Picasso are among the 137 artists featured in this indepth study. As the more than 300 images in The Horse diversely illustrate, the horse is as beautiful an animal as it has been useful—indeed, central—to the development of human society.

The thirteen authors who contributed to this volume are all experts in their art historical fields: Nicolas Chaudun, Yves Christe, Henri-Paul Francfort, Jean-Louis Gouraud, Emmanuelle Héran, Jean-Louis Libourel, Camille Morineau, Christine Peltre, Daniel Roche, Annie Vernay-Nouri, Denis Vialou, Marc-André Wagner, and Michel Woronoff.

The book was a forward from Joe Fargis. He is one of the most successful riders ever to represent the U.S. Equestrian team in international competition. During the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Fargis won the show jumping individual gold medal and the team gold medal. He is only the second U.S. athlete to win an individual gold medal in show jumping. He was also a member of the silver medal show jumping team during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and won a team gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City.

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