Art and Design: Art History

Seductive Subversion

Women Pop Artists 1958–1968

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Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968 is the catalogue of the exhibition of the same title and the first book to survey the achievements of women Pop artists.

Pop Art was one of the most important artistic movements of the late twentieth century. Its adaptation of mediated, popular-culture imagery continues to influence artists, but until now, little attention has been paid to the important contributions that women made to the movement. Pop Art by women dealt less with direct consumerist critiques, instead subversively combating the stereotypical perceptions of women via advertising and film clichés. Work by women Pop artists ranges from Rosalyn Drexler’s surreal filmnoir riffs, Idelle Weber’s New Realism office workers, and Niki de Saint Phalle’s exuberant Nanas to the more controversial and blatantly political statements of Faith Ringgold and Martha Rosler. Pauline Boty and Axell explored female desire, while the innovative soft structures stitched by Yayoi Kusama, Jann Haworth, Patty Mucha, and others form an important contribution to the history of sculpture.

Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists 1958–1968 is the catalogue of the first exhibition to expand Pop Art’s narrow critical definition to reflect the significant role of these women artists. The culmination of six years of research by Sid Sachs, this exhibition, organized by the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery of the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, is touring nationally. The essays in this catalogue span from London’s Independent Group in the early 1950s to the end of classic Pop in 1968. Written by the art historians Linda Nochlin, Sid Sachs, Kalliopi Minioudaki, Bradford R. Collins, Annika Öhrner, and Sue Tate and the artists Martha Rosler and Patty Mucha, these texts will be revelations and will remain a vital reference for artists, art and cultural historians, and feminists alike. Artworks by more than twenty artists are reproduced, including Pauline Boty, Chryssa, Rosalyn Drexler, Jann Haworth, Yayoi Kusama, and Marisol, as well as now lesser-known figures such as Barbro Östlihn and Dorothy Grebenak. Numerous works are discussed in depth from a number of vantage points.

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Discovering the Arts of Japan

A Historical Overview

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A concise and informative illustrated guide to 12,000 years of Japanese art.

Discovering the Arts of Japan is an illustrated history of Japanese art, from prehistoric times through the modern era. The chapters are arranged chronologically, each highlighting a particular historical period and discussing its artistic trends in context. The authors discuss various forms of representative art objects, highlighting important works of architecture, sculpture, paintings, calligraphy, textiles, ceramics, and more. The book features over 230 captioned photographs from leading museums, temples, and rare private collections. A map of Japan provides readers with a visual reference, and the chronology and timeline, which include other cultures’ milestones as well as those of Japan, enable comparison between Japan’s achievements and developments in other countries.

This concise, handy reference book is perfect for anyone interested in Japanese art, whether they be art history students and enthusiasts or tourists visiting Japan. A comprehensive overview of the major trends in art throughout the history of Japan, Discovering the Arts of Japan includes a select bibliography and list of major museums housing collections of Japanese art. Handsomely presented and easy-to-use, this book offers a valuable introduction to the subject, and encourages further in-depth study of specific periods and art forms.

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The Human Figure and Jewish Culture

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This wide-ranging, intellectually provocative study argues that artists of Jewish descent have been especially devoted to the human figure on account of their cultural heritage. Abundantly illustrated in full color.

In the twentieth century, the avant-garde movements promoted abstraction and formal experimentation in the visual arts, often dispensing with the human form altogether. Yet many artists of Jewish descent resisted this trend and continued to depict the human figure with sympathy and understanding. Few of them portrayed overtly Jewish themes, but—as Eliane Strosberg argues in this thought-provoking volume—their persistent devotion to the human figure was itself a reflection of their Jewishness. Though their individual styles were diverse, they all used the human figure as a means of communicating, in secular terms, aspects of their Jewish intellectual heritage, such as their humanistic values, passion for social justice, and opposition to the nihilism that underlay so much of modern culture. For this reason, their work may be said to constitute an ethical, if not an aesthetic, art movement, which Strosberg aptly dubs “Human Expressionism.”

Strosberg begins her highly readable text with an overview of Jewish tradition that illuminates the mindset of many Jewish artists. She also provides a concise history of Jewish art from Genesis to the Enlightenment, in which she demonstrates that figurative art has actually had a place in Judaism for thousands of years, despite the Second Commandment’s prohibition of graven images. However, Strosberg devotes the greater part of her study to a comparative analysis of those artists who fall under the rubric of Human Expressionism. Though her scope is impressively broad, ranging from Camille Pissarro to George Segal, she pays particular attention to the immigrant painters of the École de Paris, like Soutine and Modigliani; the American social realists, like Ben Shahn and Raphael Soyer; and the masters of the postwar School of London, like Lucian Freud and R. B. Kitaj.

Illustrated with more than one hundred full-color reproductions of works by the artists under discussion, The Human Figure and Jewish Culture is an essential addition to any library of art history or Judaica.

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The History of Paris in Painting

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A sumptuous artistic tribute to the city of lights, this volume brings Paris to life in paintings that range from the medieval to the modern.

“Paris is a moveable feast,” Ernest Hemingway once proclaimed. The city of lights, or the city of love, Paris is indeed a feast for the senses. Paris’s rich history has been justly captured by the many artists sheltered by its garrets and supported by its patrons for centuries.

Finally the story and grandeur of this beautiful city are revealed in this luxurious slipcased volume. The 350 full-color illustrations, including four breathtaking gatefolds, present Paris from its days as a medieval city on the Ile de la Cité, in the middle of the Seine River, through the tumultuous days of the French Revolution, to the “Haussmannization” of Paris, when much of the city was razed to make way for broad boulevards emanating from the Arc de Triomphe.

The rich heritage of painting in Paris is broadly represented in this collection. Home of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Paris nurtured generations of French artists and displayed their work in the Salon. As the Impressionists broke with the authoritarian standards of the Academy, Parisian art became even more diverse and increasingly abstract—a trend that continued through the twentieth century.

The History of Paris in Painting honors this celebrated city and its famous monuments by presenting readers with an artistic feast that will make anyone fall in love with Paris again and again.

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The Loggia of Raphael

A Vatican Art Treasure

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The first book about one of the last—and greatest—achievements of the legendary painter and his atelier.

The loggia, or colonnaded porch, on the second story of the Apostolic Palace is one of the Vatican’s most remarkable art treasures; its decoration, designed by Raphael (1483–1520) and executed by his workshop in 1517–19, epitomizes the spirit of the Italian Renaissance in its synthesis of Christian and classical themes. The thirteen square vaults of Raphael’s loggia each contain four frescoes of scenes from the Bible, from the Creation to the Last Supper. Meanwhile, the plasterwork of the other architectural elements is decorated with “grotesques”—fanciful arabesques enlivened with a wide variety of human and animal figures—modeled after ancient Roman wall paintings.

This groundbreaking study of Raphael’s loggia, the first to be published in English, has four parts. The first and second concern the grotesques and the scenes from the Bible, respectively, while the third examines the lives and artistic styles of the members of Raphael’s workshop who worked with him on the loggia. The fourth part traces the loggia’s enduring influence: the grotesque ornamental style elaborated by Raphael has been imitated as far afield as the corridors of the United States Capitol, and the Bible scenes served as influential models for popular prints. Illustrated throughout with newly commissioned color photographs, this book reaffirms the central importance of Raphael’s loggia to the history of art.

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The History of Gardens in Painting

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An original, splendidly illustrated history of gardens as seen through the eyes of painters by the highly acclaimed author of Landscape Painting: A History.

-- A Booklist Top 10 Arts Book of 2009

The creation of gardens was among the first achievements of early civilizations, and garden design was already highly developed in antiquity. Pictures of gardens are a reflection of the social, historical, and aesthetic context in which gardens were conceived. The focus of this captivating book is not the gardens themselves or the different concepts of the garden, but rather the representation of gardens in paintings. The author examines why artists paint gardens by covering the varied and lively 2,000-year history of the garden picture using 180 garden masterpieces as examples.

The text begins with a look at ancient Rome, when paintings of gardens, as found in villas in Pompeii, were already valued as works of art. The wide-ranging coverage also includes pictures of charming medieval gardens in books of hours; Botticelli’s masterwork La Primavera, set in a grove of orange trees; views of well-known historic gardens, such as those at Versailles; painter’s gardens, as for example, Monet’s Giverny; and modern gardens depicted by Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney, among others. For collectors of art history books and garden books, this lovely volume should appeal to a broad audience.

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The Art Atlas

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An invaluable guide to world art from prehistory to the present, complete with over 600 maps and illustrations and a searchable CD.

The Art Atlas is the first work to present the art of the entire world from ancient to modern times through extensive use of specially commissioned maps. Covering painting, sculpture, and architecture as well as other arts and artifacts, the volume provides an entirely new vision of the history of the world’s art by showing how physical and political geography has shaped its developments.

Over 350 pages in scope, Atlas compares countries separated by thousands of miles and many centuries, demonstrating how the art of each is affected by opportunities and constraints dictated by location or culture. Here, for the first time, readers can appreciate the art of prehistoric Oceania and the Nile Valley of the Pharaohs alongside that of nineteenth-century Russia and the twentieth-century United States. In addition to showing where and when great artists lived and worked, Atlas explains how major styles developed and the ways in which art has been influenced by religion, trade, travel, war, and other historical factors. The volume also provides the first comprehensive picture of the impact of the natural world on the development of art, charting the sources of fibers for weaving, pigments for coloring, wood for carving, paper for printing, and stone for use in sculpture and architecture.

With its combination of enormous breadth and constant clarity of focus, abdundant illustrations and a user-friendly, searchable CD, Atlas provides exceptional insight into what unites art and what makes it so varied. Organized into seven chronological periods and including contributions from 68 internationally renowned art historians, The Art Atlas is an original, comprehensive and up-todate reference work that will be a benchmark for many years to come.

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Italian Frescoes: The Baroque Era

1600-1800

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The fifth and final volume of the only comprehensive survey in modern times of the surviving Italian frescoes from the Baroque era, 1600 to 1800, this groundbreaking work is an achievement in scholarship and publishing of the same magnitude as Abbeville's Art of Florence and Art and Spirit of Paris. 

Following the success of the previous volumes in this extraordinary Italian Frescoes series — The Age of Giotto; The Early Renaissance; The Flowering of the Renaissance; and The High Renaissance and Mannerism — this new publication features twenty-five fresco cycles, each representing a notable achievement in the history of art. The fresco cycles presented include brilliant works by Domenichino, Sebastiano Ricci, Guercino, and Tiepolo — all of them still visible on walls and ceilings of palaces and churches spanning Italy from Venice to Naples.

The authors present such celebrated sites as the Barberini Palace in Rome and the Pitti Palace in Florence, as well as lesser-known gems. Each of the chapters is concise and authoritative, offering a descriptive and interpretive essay on all aspects of the fresco cycle, 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 eighteenth century. While this volume is a continuation of the previous books, Italian Frescoes: The Baroque Era certainly stands alone as an incredible treasury of art and scholarship that will be eagerly collected by art historians and art lovers alike.

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The Sistine Chapel

A New Vision

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A gloriously illustrated new exposition of the symbolism of the renowned fresco cycle.

The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel are often viewed as a striking study in the contrast between the middle and High Renaissance styles. On the one hand, the scenes painted on the chapel’s walls by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Rosselli, and Signorelli (1481–82), which depict parallel events in the lives of Moses and Jesus (and allegorically legitimize the power of the pope), exemplify the narrative art developed in quattrocento Florence, in which multiple incidents and numerous draped figures are depicted in a single view. On the other hand, Michelangelo’s scenes from Genesis on the chapel’s ceiling (1508–12) epitomize the art of the High Renaissance, with its emphasis on compositional clarity and the human form, and his immense Last Judgment on the chapel’s altar wall (1536–41) even anticipates Mannerism, which pushed the expressive power of the nude—hypertrophied and elaborately posed—to its limit.

In this boldly original book, sure to inspire lively discussion among all students and enthusiasts of art history, noted scholar Heinrich Pfeiffer reveals that, despite their stylistic diversity, the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel display an iconographic unity of hitherto-unsuspected depth. Drawing on years of research, he argues that neither the frescoes of the quattrocento masters nor even those of Michelangelo are free artistic embellishments on the prescribed themes; rather, their every detail has a specific symbolic meaning that is to be discovered only in the texts available to contemporary papal theologians. As a whole, he asserts, this symbolism constitutes a single iconographic program that underlies (without supplanting) the frescoes’ more obvious thematic and allegorical meanings, and that expresses metaphorically a number of key theological concepts, such as the Trinity and the analogy of Christ and His Church to groom and bride.

With his clearly reasoned text, Pfeiffer leads us to a new understanding of the Sistine Chapel as a collaborative creation, encompassing not only “the agony and the ecstasy” of Michelangelo and his artistic forebears but also the faith and erudition of the theologians who closely advised them. He inspires us to take a fresh look at this great monument, the entirety of which is illustrated here in stunning full- and double-page photographs that faithfully reproduce the brilliant colors revealed by the frescoes’ recent restoration. Just as significantly, he reminds us of the importance of iconography to the full appreciation of art, and of the close links that so often exist between text and image.

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Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists

Discovering the Connections

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A captivating memoir of the author’s journey through France in search of the Impressionists and their art, interwoven with personal histories of the artists and illuminated with contemporary photographs that re-create and reimagine their work.

In 2000, deeply shaken by her husband’s recent death, author and world traveler Lin Arison took a trip through France with her granddaughter Sarah. Though Arison was in mourning, and Sarah was initially skeptical about art, the two surprised themselves by discovering renewed joy in the work of the Impressionists and the settings that inspired them.

In the years that followed, Arison’s personal odyssey became an extraordinary collaboration with photographer Neil Folberg, a collaboration culminating in Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections. In one unique volume, Arison ushers readers from Auvers to Arles, Giverny to Mont Sainte- Victoire, in her quest to rediscover the lives, dwellings, and paintings of the Impressionists. En route, she debunks long-held myths about Van Gogh and Berthe Morisot, befriends twenty-first-century descendants of some of the masters, and finds inspiration in the Impressionists’ mutually supportive relationships. Gracefully blending memoir, travelogue, art history, and biography, Arison’s intimate narrative brings new insight to our understanding of these artists and their legacy.

Interspersed with Arison’s text, and with handsome reproductions of the original masterpieces, Neil Folberg’s photographs capture the central spirit of the Impressionists’ work and reapply that spirit to contemporary subjects and settings. Following an intuitive sensibility that never misses its mark, Folberg deploys each artist’s individual vision to new and striking ends, undergoing an artistic transformation of his own in the process.

Together, Arison’s words and Folberg’s images explore the enduring impact of France’s great late nineteenth-century painters, and the ways in which their revolutionary visions of their own world still impart great meaning and beauty to ours.

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The History of Venice in Painting

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This magnificent, oversized, luxuriously illustrated volume presents the wondrous history of Venice, as revealed by its artistic legacy.

Venice is a magical city. For centuries, Venice has enchanted visitors with its magnificent architecture and romantic canals. As a lone republic amid mostly monarchical Europe, Venice equally amazed philosophers and poets, leading Wordsworth to hail this floating city of more than one hundred islands as “the oldest Child of Liberty.”

Yet it is the imprint Venice left in the realm of painting, not only as a subject that inspired visiting artists from Europe and beyond, but more importantly as the seat of a new school of painting, for which Venice should best be remembered. The Venetian School of painting was developed during the Renaissance, featuring such celebrated painters as Bellini, Mantegna, Giorgione, and Titian. Emphasizing Venice’s pervasive sunlight and glowing color in their works, these painters influenced centuries of painters to come. The authors of The History of Venice in Painting explain how the Venetian School, in addition to other attractions like Carnival, attracted legions of tourists to Venice, making it an obligatory stop on the “Grand Tour” that should complete any eighteenth-century gentleman’s cultural education. Visitors also came to Venice to paint the city’s famous light for themselves, most notably J.M.W. Turner and Claude Monet. Sun-soaked Venice, with light reflecting off the waters of its many canals, was indeed an Impressionist’s dream.

This vibrantly illustrated text traces the history of the Republic of Venice through its artistic heritage, from medieval mosaics to twentieth-century Futurist paintings. Including 350 full-color images, as well as 4 breathtaking gatefolds, The History of Venice in Painting is a treasure-trove of art, history, and culture. Here such panoramas as religious processions and gondolas criss-crossing the Grand Canal are displayed in a size befitting the subject’s grandeur. Protected in a silkbound slipcase, this gorgeous tribute captures the history and indelible legacy of Venice.

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The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia

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A richly illustrated survey of the artistic achievements of Mesopotamian culture from the Sumerians to the caliphs.

The artistic traditions of ancient Iraq, or Mesopotamia, are among the oldest in the world, for it was in this flat, fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that the world’s first advanced civilization, that of the Sumerians, arose around 3000 BC. But the long history of Mesopotamian art was marked by change as much as continuity; the region was then as now a center of political conflict, and the Sumerians gave way to a succession of powers both indigenous and foreign, each of which left a cultural imprint.

This volume’s contributing authors, all art historians and archaeologists specializing in the ancient Near East, provide accessible and lively overviews of the successive phases of this eventful artistic saga. The first two chapters cover the “classic” age of the great Mesopotamian city-states, from the pre-Sumerian Ubaid culture to Alexander’s conquest of Babylon; the remains of this era range from the fabulous treasures of the royal cemeteries at Ur to the mighty ziggurats of Uruk and Babylon. The third chapter concerns the Greco-Mesopotamian art of the Hellenistic dynasty founded by Alexander’s general Seleucus; the ruins of Seleucia, his capital on the Tigris, cover some 1500 acres. The fourth chapter investigates the artistic contributions of the two Persian dynasties, the Parthian and the Sassanid, that dominated the region from the first century BC to the seventh century AD and established the soaring iwan, or vaulted portico, as one of its typical architectural forms. The final chapter is devoted to the area’s early Islamic period, during which the Abbasid caliphs (eighth to thirteenth century AD) made Iraq the center of the Islamic world, constructing splendid mosques in their capitals of Baghdad and Samarra and elaborating the fantastic arabesques that have never disappeared from Islamic decorative art.

The ancient masterpieces discussed in these chapters are depicted in 217 stunning illustrations, most of them full-color photographs, and appended to the main text is a unique visual guide to Iraq’s principal archaeological sites, which provides a further 247 black-and-white photographs. With its authoritative, up-to-date texts and this wealth of illustrations, The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia is an essential publication for anyone with an interest in the cultural heritage of mankind.

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The Art and Architecture of Persia

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This vibrantly illustrated text offers detailed historical and cultural insight into the art and architecture of one of the oldest regions of the world.

The history of the area now known as Iran, but often still referred to as Persia, spans millennia, boasting a rich and complex artistic and cultural legacy. Populated since prehistoric times, thus making it one of the most dynamic areas of Islamic civilization, this region was home to the world’s first powerful empire (lead by Cyrus the Great during the Achaemenid dynasty) and has influenced the aesthetic grammar of a large portion of central Asia, including Armenia, Georgia, and India.

From the ancient Iranian civilizations in 500 BC, through the Islamic period, and on to modern-day Iran, Iran: The Art and Architecture of Persia explores the common characteristics and thematic threads running through Persian art. Iran presents its readers with archaeological landscapes, monuments, sculptures, carpets, and dazzling ornaments and art objects from this stunning artistic milieu. The text takes as it subject the most fascinating and unusual facets of the Persian artistic experience, with a particular focus on post-Hellenic culture, namely late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Iran investigates how the examined regions were hothouses of specific artistic developments and identifies how the Iranian passage along the Silk Route acted as a bridge between distant lands for trade as well as the dissemination of religious and material culture.

The two authors, Gianroberto Scarcia and Giovanni Curatola, write in an engaging, refreshingly accessible manner, catering both to specialists and to novices wishing to immerse themselves in this captivating region and its art. Author Scarcia writes the first part of the book, covering the era from the Achaemenids to the Sassanids and examining the great architecture from Persepolis onward while also addressing the powerful metalwork produced by these cultures. The second part, by Curatola, explores the Islamic period, when architectural decoration moved into the forefront with brilliant chromatic effects etched onto massive built works. The same colors bloom throughout the other arts, including carpets and miniature paintings. Dynamic and absorbing, Iran and its over 200 color photos will take readers on a virtual tour of this region and the art it has produced over the centuries.

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The Lure of Gold

An Artistic and Cultural History

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The dazzlingly illustrated story of how the world's most beautiful element has influenced the art, economy, and society of every civilization.

When Hesiod, the Greek poet of the eighth century B.C., recounted the history of the world as he understood it, he described the legendary first generation of mortal men, who lived in peace and ease, as the “people of gold.” Nearly three millennia later, we still refer to a particularly happy or prosperous era as a “golden age.” The reason Hesiod’s metaphor translates so perfectly into our own idiom is that the mystique of gold, the quintessential precious metal, is truly universal. The very scarcity of gold accounts for part of its allure and much of its monetary value: the total volume of gold ever mined, from prehistory to the present day, would probably fit inside a cube with sides just twenty yards (18 m) long. Yet gold’s incredible material properties also contribute to its appeal. Gold does not corrode, so it never loses its brilliant luster, and it can be chased, embossed, punched, drawn into wires, hammered foil-thin, and shaped in countless other ways.

This engaging book reveals that the ways in which gold, in turn, has shaped humanity are no less numerous. Since prehistory, for example, artisans have fashioned gold into ritual objects and high-status ornaments; beginning in the sixth century B.C., gold served as currency; and even in the modern era it has encouraged wars of conquest and triggered frantic gold rushes. Each chapter is devoted to one historical epoch, explaining how people of that time mined and refined gold, and how they used it for cultural and economic purposes. Two hundred gorgeous color photographs illustrate golden objets d’art as diverse as the funerary masks of Tutankhamen; intricate Celtic jewelry; a figurine of “El Dorado,” a pre-Columbian chief said to ritualistically cover his entire body in gold dust; bejeweled medieval reliquaries and crucifixes; and even Gustav Klimt’s gold-drenched canvas The Kiss. With its authoritative yet lively text and these arresting illustrations, The Lure of Gold sets, as it were, the gold standard for books on material culture.

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Hieronymus Bosch

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A stunningly illustrated, groundbreaking exploration of the work of the Low Countries' great visionary painter.

Four hundred little people frolic au naturel with overgrown songbirds and raspberries; a pudgy blue demon serenades a fashionable young couple with a tune piped through his own elongated nose; a knife-wielding set of disembodied ears stalks the damned through hell. The phantasmagoric imagery of Hieronymus Bosch (d. 1516) has been the source of widespread interest ever since the painter’s lifetime, and is still so enigmatic that scholars have theorized that it contains hidden astrological, alchemical, or even heretical meanings. Yet none of these theories has ever seemed to provide an adequate understanding of Bosch’s work. Moreover, the considerable professional success that the artist enjoyed in his native Hertogenbosch, not to mention his membership in a traditional religious organization, suggests that he pursued not a sinister secret agenda but simply his personal artistic vision.

This intriguing new monograph by noted art historian Larry Silver interprets that artistic vision with admirable lucidity: it explains how Bosch’s understanding of human sin, morality, and punishment, which was conceived in an era of powerful apocalyptic expectation, shaped his dramatic visualizations of hell and of the temptations of even the most steadfast saints. Silver’s account of Bosch’s artistic development is one of the first to benefit from recent technical investigations of the paintings, as well as from the reexamination of the artist’s drawings in relation to his paintings. Hieronymus Bosch is also unique in how securely it places its subject’s work in the broader history of painting in the Low Countries: Silver identifies sources of Bosch’s iconography in a wide range of fifteenth-century panel paintings, manuscript illuminations, and prints, and describes how, despite their own religiousness, Bosch’s pictures helped inspire the secular landscape and genre scenes of later Netherlandish painters. Augmented by 310 illustrations, most in color, including many dramatic close-ups of Bosch’s intricately imagined nightmare scenes, this is the definitive book on a perennially fascinating artist.

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Landscape Painting

A History

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A comprehensive, captivating history of landscape painting lavishly illustrated with 280 full-color works of art.

Since Antiquity, painters have sought to portray the glories of nature, and many of their pictures have become the best-known masterpieces in the history of art. In this sweeping treasury of Western art, distinguished art historian Nils Büttner has chosen paintings that not only portray natural vistas but also dramatic scenes with people and architecture. His broad selection of paintings in this genre consists mainly of well-known works, but some seldom-reproduced pictures are also included.

The paintings are presented chronologically, beginning with the heritage from the ancient world and the precursors of landscape artists in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Giovanni Bellini, and Raphael. The sixteenth century heralded a new perception of the world, reflected in the works of such masters as Albrecht Dürer and Bruegel, as shown. Next, artists of the flowering age of landscapes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are featured, including Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, Rubens, Rembrandt, Fragaonard, David, and Gainsborough. In the early nineteenth century, which was dominated by the spirit of Romanticism, artists began to display a new manner of treating nature. These revolutionary conceptions of nature are vividly presented with examples from Constable, Turner, Whistler, Frederic Church, Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer. These artists are followed by plein-air painters, Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists, among them Manet, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, van Gogh, and Rousseau. Artists represented from the twentieth century include Matisse, Picasso, Klee, Magritte, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, and David Hockney.

Many of the extraordinary works are reproduced in full along with a detail and an informative caption. In the authoritative text, the author traces the history of landscape painting up to the present day but also focuses on individual paintings and the circumstances under which they were created. Along with a description of a painting, the lucid text examines the work’s cultural, historical, and aesthetic context.

The art of landscape artists, which has long been an under-published area of art history, is finally and stunningly revealed in this richly illustrated tribute to their work. This fresh vision of landscape artists is certain to be welcomed by art historians and museum-goers, as well anyone else interested in Western art.

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Earthworks and Beyond

Contemporary Art in the Landscape

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4th Edition

Updated and expanded to incorporate the most recent land art projects, Earthworks and Beyond (first published in 1984; 2nd edition, 1989; 3rd edition, 1998) is a perceptive and accessible survey of an influential art movement that developed during the 1960s and is still reshaping both remote and urban landscapes.

This invaluable volume now includes the most recent efforts by artists—often in collaboration with architects and city planners—to transform ravaged landscapes and desolate cityscapes into pleasure-giving parks and artworks. The book begins with an enlightening introduction tracing the historical roots of art in the landscape: Stonehenge, Indian mounds, cliff dwellings, park design from 18th-century England to modern-day golf courses. The opening chapter deals with such innovative artists as Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Walter De Maria, and Christo, who in the 1960s began to free their art from the confines of tradition by constructing monumental sculptures in the environment. The following chapters discuss their predecessors, peers, and successors, including Constantin Brancusi, Herbert Bayer, Richard Long, James Turrell, and many others.

The final four chapters (chapter 7 is entirely new) explore at length the increasing involvement of artists in land reclamation and urban design, featuring projects by Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Mel Chin, Maya Lin, and many others.

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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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