Art and Design: Art History

Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto

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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. 

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A Key to the Louvre

Memoirs of a Curator

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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.

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Orientalism In Art

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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.

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Italian Frescoes: High Renaissance and Mannerism

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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.

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American Impressionism

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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.

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Women Artists

An Illustrated History

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 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.

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The Art and Spirit of Paris

(two volumes, slipcased)

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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.

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Treasures of The White House

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A miniature handbook of the most important furnishings of the White House.

For nearly two centuries, the White House has served as the residence of our nation's president and his family. John and Abigail Adams were the first residents, and each family ever since has been encouraged, through congressional appropriations and private contributions, to make the White House a comfortable home and to provide the necessities for handsomely carrying out its additional functions as nexus for state ceremony and entertaining. As a result, the decorative objects acquired for the White House cover a wide range of genres, all rich with historic association

This treasury of our nation's valuable heirlooms, selected by the curator of the White House, includes some of the finest examples of American paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, glass, and porcelain. In addition to excellent pictures of the objects, there are photographs that show them as arranged in state rooms. A concise essay introduces the collection and places it in historic context, and two additional pieces survey both the fine arts and the decorative arts in the president's house.

This pocket-size book is an ideal gift for those interested in beautiful historic objects or those who would like a comprehensive memento of a visit to the nation's capital.

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The Great Book of French Impressionism

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The return of the revised edition of the most popular volume on the subject offers inspired, authoritative text and hundreds of exquisite illustrations.

The Great Book of French Impressionism celebrates the richness and exuberance of the Impressionists's world — a world of light and color, of sunlit fields and shimmering waterscapes, of bustling city views and intimate domestic scenes. The 400 illustrations in this handsomely designed volume faithfully capture the subtle nuances of light and keen perception that make French Impressionist paintings unique. This edition features recent scholarship, more complete backmatter, and an expanded index.

In her thoughtful and cogent text, art historian Diane Kelder traces the development of Impressionism from its roots in landscape and realist painting through its focus on modern urban life to its ultimate goal: to fix on canvas the fleeting moods and effects of nature in an ever-changing world. The author weaves into her narrative fascinating anecdotes and excerpts form contemporary essays and letters, examines in detail the lives and works of all the major Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, and Cezanne, and shows how their work influenced others, ultimately giving rise to the new art of the twentieth century.

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Remedios Varo

Unexpected Journeys

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The adventures that fill the strange and wonderful paintings by Remedios Varo (1908-1963) reflect the physical and psychological journeys of her own tumultuous life.

Raised in a strict Spanish family and rigorously trained in academic art, Varo first found escape in Barcelona's bohemian avant-garde. After fleeing the Spanish Civil War with the poet Benjamin Péret, later her husband, she entered the inner circle of the Surrealists in Paris. Forced to flee again by the Nazis, she and Péret faced a year of mounting danger in Marseilles before securing passage to Mexico. Finding welcome refuge in Mexico City, where she remained until her death, Varo produced the extraordinary paintings for which she gained renown.

Janet A. Kaplan's vivid chronicle, the first on the subject in English, weaves Varo's life with the artist's exquisite work. Painted with a jewellike palette and old-master precision, Varo's intimate tableaux, rich with details of women's experience, tell fantasy tales of alchemy, science, mysticism, and magic. Fifty color reproductions capture the wit and beauty of her major paintings; numerous black and white illustrations document other works and portray the compelling artist with her circle of lifelong friends and admirers. The book is further enlivened by her own voice, conveyed in hilarious letters and surreal stories, published here for the first time. It concludes with an invaluable chronology as well as a newly updated bibliography and list of exhibitions.

A woman of intense magnetism and powerful imagination, Varo had been little known outside Mexico, but she has recently found enthusiastic audiences in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Japan. The fascinating story of her life and the dazzling intricacy of her art will prove a revelation.

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The Art of Florence

(two volumes, slipcased)

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This popular monument of scholarly and publishing history, winner of the prestigious Prix Vasari in France, is now available at an irresistible low price.

Since the radiant years of the Renaissance, the city of Florence has come for many to represent the greatest triumph of the Western cultural tradition. This is the city where humanism was born, where Plato was discussed passionately in the narrow streets, and where men and women first found themselves to be the measure of all things. For more than three centuries Florence nurtured a creative community of astounding, even revolutionary genius. Here, starting in the late 1200s, Giotto painted the grave and powerful frescoes that drew Florence and the world toward a radical new vision of realism, and here, ushering in the dazzling era of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo began his incomparable career as architect, sculptor, and painter. During the intervening years, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, and hundreds of the most splendidly talented artists in history lived and worked in this small city on the Arno and collaborated in the creation of the great urban museum we know as Florence.

Matching an elegant and sophisticated text by three leading art historians with hundreds of glorious color photographs, The Art of Florence immerses us in a city and a time of unparalleled cultural ferment. This important and uncommonly beautiful publication analyzes the history of Florentine art in terms of the distinctly Florentine and Tuscan influences that shaped it—an approach never before employed in a study of this breadth and complexity. The fascinating and lucid text by Glenn Andres, John Hunisak, and Richard Turner gracefully links Florentine architecture, sculpture, and painting to the rich social fabric and the dramatic political life of the city. Woven into this compelling history is the most luxurious and comprehensive visual documentation available of Florence's unrivaled treasures. More than 700 color images and another 854 duotones and architectural drawings have been reproduced with a meticulous care worthy of the Renaissance craft tradition. Joining visual beauty with intellectual rigor in a fashion that truly invokes the spirit of this great city, The Art of Florence presents as rich a vision of human creativity as we can find anywhere outside Florence itself.

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Passion by Design

The Art and Times of Tamara De Lempicka

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A daughter's intriguing look at the life and times of Tamara de Lempicka, a remarkable artist, personality, and icon of the Jazz Age and Art Deco style.

Tamara de Lempicka captured the whirlwind decade of the 1920s on canvas, painting (and charming) the rich and famous of Europe in Art Deco portraits. The threat of a second world war sent Tamara packing to America, where she reveled among the famous in Hollywood and the wealthy of New York, In the 1970s she was rediscovered when a gallery owner in Paris mounted a retrospective of her work, and today paintings that were unsellable for three decades fetch many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Much of the story of de Lempicka's amazing life is told in moving detail by her daughter, whose recollections are amplified by anecdotes from others who knew the artist. The is illustrated by dozens of photographs from Tamara's personal album and by 50 full-color reproductions of her evocative paintings.

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Italian Frescoes: The Flowering of the Renaissance

1470-1510

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The second volume in the only comprehensive modern survey of the surviving frescoes created during the middle years of the great Italian Renaissance.

Praised by historians and art lovers alike, Steffe Roettgen's first volume on the frescoes of the early Italian Renaissance is the most comprehensive survey of the surviving fresco cycles painted from 1400 to 1470. In this second volume, featuring paintings from 1470 to 1510, scores of new photographs document the brilliance of works by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Mantegna, Perugino, and Signorelli in palaces and chapels stretching from the Alps to Rome.Professor Roettgen's concise and authoritative text illuminates such celebrated sites as the Tornabuoni Chapel in Florence, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, and the Camera degli Sposi in Mantua. She also reveals the charm of lesser-known works, such as those in the tiny northern town of Issogne, which capture fifteenth-century men and women bargaining and flirting at an outdoor market.

Descriptive and interpretive essays on each of the seventeen cycles touch on all aspects of fresco painting: the artists and their patrons, cultural and historical conditions, local traditions, and technique. Each essay concludes with a diagram of the site, followed by a stunning series of full-page and double-page color plates of the wall paintings, many of them newly restored. This second volume of Professor Roettgen's survey builds on the strengths of Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance, and easily stands alone as a record of the spectacular art of a flourishing culture.

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Antiquespeak

A Guide to the Styles, Techniques, and Materials of the Decorative Arts, from the Renaissance to Art Deco

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Continuing the popular and illuminating "Speak" series, this handsomely designed volume offers a user-friendly lexicon of the decorative arts.

Understanding antiques requires knowledge of a specialized vocabulary that tells initiates what something is, where it came from, and when it was made. AntiqueSpeak provides this essential information in concise but illuminating essays that cover almost a millennium of styles (such as Baroque and Art Deco), materials (glass, ivory), types of objects (furniture, toys and games), specialized areas of collecting (folk art, Judaica), and concerns involved with acquiring and caring for antiques (auctions, condition, marks and signatures).

In addition, the book includes a handy one-page StyleChart; a section of color plates (one for each major style); an album of ornaments and classical orders, represented by line drawings; labeled drawings of selected furniture types; an introduction that explains how to use the book; and an invaluable index that provides dates and nationalities for all the designers, craftsmen, artists, and others discussed in the entries.

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Treasures of 19th and 20th Century Painting

The Art Institute of Chicago

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The Art Institute of Chicago houses some of the most celebrated European and American paintings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Included in this collection are numerous masterpieces of realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Surrealism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and other aspects of modernism. Today a number of these paintings are revered as icons of modern Western culture, emblems of the inspired experimentation that has taken place on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the last century, the Art Institute has supported the achievements of the most distinguished artists from Europe and America, acquiring and exhibiting now-beloved works of Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and others. This folio is presented as both an introduction to this collection and as a survey of the styles, subjects, and themes of Western art of the last two centuries, from the linear classicism of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres through the optical studies of Claude Monet and the Impressionists; from the lyrical, colorful abstractions of Vasily Kandinsky to the fractured picture planes of Pablo Picasso and the Cubists; from the enigmatic compositions of Salvador Dali and the Surrealists to the media-appropriated Pop-art portraits of Andy Warhol. These magnificent paintings eloquently narrate the discussions of the nature of art, quality, innovation, style, and form that have defined the modern era in art history.

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Goddesses in Art

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An extraordinary range of images, from prehistory to the 1990's, representing female deities of all types and temperaments from a world wide array of cultures.

Fascination with the goddess as a powerful figure throughout humanity's history has been growing since the contemporary women's movement evolved in the 1960s. An elemental part of religious pantheons before the Iron Age, goddesses have resurfaced in the modern era as embodiments of female strength and wisdom. Encompassing a variety of media — sculpture, painting, photography, performance art, and film — Goddesses in Art offers an abundance of images of the goddess as the ultimate creator and destroyer of life; as fertility figure; and as a ruler of love and war.

The artists who have portrayed her in all her guises range from prehistoric and tribal shamans to European painters and sculptors such as Bernini, Rubens, and Titian to modern artists including Louise Bourgeois, Audrey Flack, Frida Kahlo, Henry Moore, and Andy Warhol.

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Holy Terrors

Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings

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A charming survey of these mischievous creatures, illustrated with engaging color photographs from the rooftops of Europe and Great Britain.

Multitudes of gargoyles haunt the medieval buildings of western Europe, peering down from churches and cathedrals, houses and town halls. Holy Terrors offers a fresh and irresistible history of these wildly varied characters — a society of stone creatures perched high above the workaday world.

The true gargoyle is a waterspout, an architectural necessity that medieval artisans transformed into functional fantasies. The informative introduction to Holy Terrors explains everything that is known or conjectured about the history, the construction, the purposes, and the mysterious meanings of these often rude and rowdy characters. The three chapters that follow are devoted to the gargoyles themselves, imaginatively carved of stone in the form of people, real animals, and fantastic beasts. In clear, lively language, Janetta Rebold Benton puts these personality-filled sculptures into the context of medieval life and art and captures their quirky diversity in her engaging color photographs.

Concluding the book is an invaluable guide to gargoyle sites throughout western Europe, as well as suggestions for further reading. This is the first book for adults to provide an intelligent and entertaining overview of medieval gargoyles, and it is bound to increase the already abundant legions of gargoyle admirers.

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