All books

Angels

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A myriad of angels in a multitude of guises, as portrayed by artists ranging from Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Botticelli to Bernini, Rembrandt, Rossetti, and Keith Haring.

With nearly 300 radiant images, Angels surveys every aspect of artists' long-held fascination with this irresistible subject. Included are angels from the first millennium to contemporary times, represented in frescoes, oil paintings, mosaics, prints, stained glass, tapestries, manuscript illuminations, and sculpture.

Divided into seven chapters—Angel Portraits, Heavenly Messengers, Hosts of Angels, Cherubs, Patterns of Flight, Battles of Good and Evil (which includes the fallen angels), and Guardian Angels and Companions—this captivating little book offers a fresh look at an ancient and eternally popular subject.

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Goddesses

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Female deities of all types and temperaments, from around the world and throughout history.

Since time immemorial, artists have created impassioned images of the goddess as the ultimate generator and destroyer of life, as fertility figure, and as ruler of love and war. Encompassing a variety of media — sculpture, painting, photography, performance art, and film — Goddesses also provides an enlightening text exploring all her many guises.

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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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Fra Angelico

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Breathtaking details and a thought-provoking text make this volume a beautiful and important reassessment of this Florentine Renaissance painter.

Called "Angelico" for his inimitable depictions of paradise, this artist (1400? -1455) and Dominican friar succeeded Masaccio as the foremost painter of the early Renaissance in Italy. Fra Angelico's painting has been beloved for centuries since as an emblem of the flowering genius of quattrocento Florence.In his engaging new appraisal, John Spike reveals the unexpectedly innovative qualities of Angelico's art, including his use of linear and geometric perspective (even before the publication of Leon Battista Alberti's famous treatise). Another of Angelico's inventions was the Renaissance altarpiece known as the sacra conversazione (sacred conversation), in which the Virgin and Child and saints, formerly each rigidly enclosed in separate panels, now gesture and relate to each other within a clearly unified space.

Fra Angelico had a lifelong fascination with the written word, and as Spike persuasively demonstrates, the accuracy of his Greek, Latin, and Hebrew inscriptions reveal his participation in the linguistic studies that flourished in Florence and Rome in the first half of the fifteenth century. He created some of the most visionary and learned compositions of his century, from his Deposition for the private chapel of the humanist Palla Strozzi to the extensive commissions in Rome for the erudite Pope Nicholas v.

In this volume Spike presents a major discovery: the secret program of the forty frescoes in the cells of the Dominican monastery of San Marco in Florence. All previous studies of this artist had concluded that the subjects and arrangement of these frescoes, the artist's masterworks, were chosen at random, or by the friars themselves. Instead, as the author now shows, Fra Angelico drew upon the mystical writings of the early church fathers to construct a spiritual exercise organized into three ascending levels of enlightenment. The San Marco frescoes can finally be seen as not only the most extensive cycle of works by any single painter of this century, but indeed the most complete pictorial expression of Renaissance theology.

With fresh insights that will influence studies of quattrocento art for years to come, Spike uses his perceptive eye and judicious readings of documents to reassess the works of Angelico, his masters, and his assistants. This essential volume contains an extensive essay on the artist's life and work, followed by large color plates with detailed discussions of individual works. Finally, a catalog presents the artist's oeuvre, as revised by the author's new attributions. With lavish details of Angelico's works and an up-to-date bibliography, this volume is not only a feast for the eyes but an indispensable resource for anyone interested in this critical period of the Renaissance.

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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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Home Spa

Recipes and Techniques to Restore and Refresh

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Whether you have five minutes or several days, this book has just the right recipe or technique for pampering yourself from head to toe.

Healthy, balanced living begins with the right attention to your body and mind. Although most of us know this is true, we ignore the need to treat ourselves well in the face of hectic schedules and daily responsibilities. Home Spa is a secret weapon against the drudgery of home and office routine, offering a variety of ways to relax and to look and feel better — from softening skin and removing toxins to improving circulation and lowering blood pressure.

By using simple, natural ingredients that are readily available it's possible to recreate easily and inexpensively the formulas and techniques found in luxurious spas. Sesame yogurt face masks, almond-and-honey moisturizers, and simple self-massages are only a few of the many recipes provided that you can use to revitalize yourself in your own home. By taking the time to take care of yourself, you can ease life's pressures, clear your minds, and create a new sense of calm.

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Gargoyles Postcard Book

Thirty mischievous gargoyles have been captured in these delightful and frightfully amusing postcards.

From their lofty perches they spit, stick their tongues out, threaten, and even laugh at us. Ugly and grotesque, gargoyles may have once been used to terrify all those who came near them. Today, however, their entertaining expressions and often bawdy behavior are frightfully amusing. Thirty of these mischievous devils are presented here in these delightful postcards from Abbeville Press.Inspired by the Abbeville Press book Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings.

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Golf at the Water's Edge

Scotland's Seaside Links

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An irresistible celebration of the seaside links of Scotland, with charming watercolor illustrations and a lively text.

Golf had its origins in Scotland, and that country's beautiful but daunting terrain make the game very different from the cushy version played elsewhere. In Scotland golfers battle not only the willfulness of the ball but also the elements — sandy grounds with bristly gorse, unpredictable winds, and ocean-sized water hazards.

Golf at the Water's Edge offers a delightful anecdotal history and tour of Scotland's seaside courses, divided into five regions: East Lothian, West Scotland, Fife, the North East, and the Highlands. Within each region are sections devoted to some of the most revered links in the world--among them, Turnberry, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, and of course, St. Andrews. Lovely watercolor illustrations accompany each course, complemented by a labeled course plan. The book closes with an appendix of information for the traveler, including addresses, phone/fax numbers, months and hours of operation, and unusual course rules.

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Gift Baskets For All Seasons

75 Fun and Easy Craft Projects

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Baskets overflowing with seasonal delights or homemade vinegars and oils are featured in this inspiring book which contains 75 innovative projects and ideas for filling and assembling attractive baskets for perfect gifts or for decorations at home.

Baskets containing seasonal delights are perfect for gifts or home decoration. This captivating book contains 75 fun and easy projects and ideas for making, filling, and decorating baskets. All with a seasonal theme, the baskets celebrate holidays including Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and are wonderful gifts for such special occasions as birthdays and anniversaries.

The projects encompass a wide range of styles and techniques, from traditional country crafts using flowers, foliage, and herbs to more innovative ideas using materials as diverse as candles, sculpting clay, cookies, and chocolate. Bountiful baskets of all shapes and sizes are filled with decorative objects or edible treats, including:

  • Fresh and dried flowers
  • Decorated Easter eggs
  • Gingerbread men
  • A picnic spread
  • Seashells
  • Ripe summer fruit
  • Aromatic oils and herbs
  • Wheat and corn dolls
  • Sewing materials
  • Bright craft beads
  • Christmas specialties

There is a detailed "recipe" for creating each basket, with clear step-by-step instructions. Even so, each of the projects may be modified to allow for individual interpretation and creativity, making them memorable gifts and decorations.

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The Light's Way

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A beautifully illustrated tale of the power of light, which brings color and life not only into our visual world but also into the emotional realm of our hearts and minds.

The Light's Way is artist Judy Pelikan's wonderful companion to The Heart's Journey. In twelve original illustrations, Pelikan reveals the life-giving force of light by relating sunlight to color: without sunlight, our natural world is gray, consisting only of patterns, shapes, shadows, and at times, shadows.At the same time, The Light's Way shows how the nurturing inner light of the spirit has the power to make our lives colorful and blessed with happiness.

The Light's Way is an inspirational lesson that urges us, or someone we care about, to choose light and bring color, physically or emotionally, into the world.

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Michelangelo

The Vatican Frescoes

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For the first time ever, Michelangelo's complete Vatican masterpiece is shown in the vivid colors of its recent restoration. This comprehensive history of the painting of the Sistine Chapel catalogs each fresco image in detail.

The restoration of Michelangelo's magnificent frescoes in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel is perhaps the most controversial event in the art world in the past three decades. Now, after nearly fifteen years of effort, the restoration is finally complete. This unique volume-the first to document the project-is the result of an unparalleled international photographic campaign. For the first time, the restored Chapel is shown in its entirety, from the Creation to the Last Judgment. Glorious, full-color photographs-250 in all-portray the frescoes both before and after their restoration, providing an unforgettable view of the meticulous work that many believe restored the frescoes to their original High Renaissance splendor.

Originally created in the late 1400s, the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel are the best-known of all the Vatican masterpieces. As early as 1502, however, tourists began noting the damage wrought by smoke and crumbling walls. By 1980 the need for conservation appeared to be dire. The restoration team had to contend with centuries of decay-structural fractures in the walls and ceilings, soot and dust accumulation, and rainwater seepage that left white patches on every surface. Artisans in previous centuries had made attempts at conservation, but often did more harm than good; the frescoes were found to be coated with many layers of "protective" glue that had yellowed and darkened with age. Though many art historians opposed the restoration, believing that Michelangelo was a somber artist who worked in dark and muted colors, the endeavor presents frescoes that are gloriously vivid, setting the chapel aglow with their brilliance. In addition, they provide new insights about Michelangelo's brushstroke techniques, and add more information to a centuries-old debate over how he worked with the wet plaster surface of the frescoes.

Written with Gianluigi Colalucci, the technical overseer of the restoration, the text provides an intimate understanding of this masterpiece of Renaissance art. It explains the various forensic studies carried out in the course of the project, the pragmatic concerns of the restoration, and the many problems of historical approach that were confronted. This volume, including remarkable new pictures of the Chapel frescoes, belongs in the libraries of every art historian and student of the Italian Renaissance.

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Squares

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Squares are everywhere!

Diamond shapes, checkers, and plaids throw a pattern of squares on people, animals, and objects from the world around us. Harlequins, box turtles, tartan slippers, pineapples--all are covered with criss-crosses, ridges, and squares of all sorts!

The My New Colors series for children shows how shapes and patterns appear wherever you look. The bright, beautiful illustrations will encourage toddlers and preschoolers to look at the world around them with new curiosity, while the simple text is perfect for children who have just started to learn their ABC's!

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Living Proof

Courage in the Face of AIDS

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This moving and beautiful book offers unprecedented insight into the astounding strength of the human spirit when confronted with illness, pain, loss, and death.

Carolyn Jones's vivid and life-affirming portraits capture people from all backgrounds — children and grandmothers, men and women of all races — living with HIV and AIDS.It is estimated that over one million people in the United States would test positive for the Human Immune Virus, and many others are already suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A common-and harmful-misconception holds that AIDS is an instant death sentence but, in fact, testing positive for HIV does not mean immediate illness.

Carolyn Jones has collaborated with George DeSipio, Jr., and Michael Liberatore (co-founders of the project), and the seventy-three people who volunteered to pose for these photographs in an inspiring effort to change the way we think about AIDS. Jones's compelling portraits have the power to profoundly alter perceptions about this disease, and about the way we all live and die. AIDS poses challenging questions that we must each grapple with, whether healthy or not. These captivating pictures illustrate the self-confidence and wisdom of ordinary people coping with an extraordinary fate, facing their mortality, questioning their priorities, and living life to the fullest. Their energy, courage, and dignity in the face of such adversity offer a vital lesson in how to embrace life, day by day. Their faces and their stories are proof that AIDS doesn't look like anyone — it looks like, and ultimately is, all of us.

Design Industries Foundation for AIDS (DIFFA) is the sole recipient of the royalties from the sale of Living Proof. For additional information regarding Living Proof and the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS, please call DIFFA, (212) 727-3100.

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Rorstrand Porcelain

Art Nouveau Masterpieces

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The first definitive study of the Art Nouveau masterpieces of the Swedish Rörstrand porcelain factory.

The artists of the influential Rörstrand porcelain factory in Sweden created some of the most beautiful decorative objects of the Art Nouveau style. In his fascinating and authoritative text, Bengt Nyström focuses on the Rörstrand factory's designers and their revolutionary forms during the period 1865 to 1915, when the firm successfully competed artistically with Tiffany and Gallé in the great international expositions that showcased and helped to propagate the Art Nouveau style.

Inspired by late 19th-century crafts movements fathered by William Morris, the artists of the Rörstrand factory took nationalistic pride in incorporating their indigenous flora and fauna into their exquisite designs, transforming wintry berry springs and northern sea creatures into elegant three-dimensional works of art that appealed to a sophisticated European clientele.

Illustrated with objects from Robert Schreiber's outstanding collection, supplemented with craftsmen's drawings and archival documents, Nyström's thoroughly researched text includes engaging glimpses of the culture surrounding Rörstrand (a former castle), especially the close-knit community of insightful administrators, talented designers and inventors, and artisans. The book chronicles not only the company's artistic achievements but the day-to-day personalities and decisions behind the emergence of this once-utilitarian factory as the birthplace of some of Sweden's most beautiful decorative objects.

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Painted Bodies

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Magical and bold, this unique volume presents dynamic photographs of bodies painted by artists for this project.

The inspiration for this project comes from history: human beings have painted their bodies since the beginning of time. Christopher Columbus was faced by natives with painted bodies when he first set foot on American soil. To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the explorer's first voyage to the New World, natives of America once again appear with painted bodies. Forty-five Chilean painters, invited to participate in this project, express a diversity of approaches to body art, each one in keeping with their individual character.

Some attempt to replicate primitive body painting, while others make full use of modern sophistication. The treatments vary widely, from "dressed" bodies, complete with lace and zippers, to bodies bearing street scenes or faces, to completely abstract paintings highlighting the expressionistic use of the body as canvas. The resulting collaboration is a collection of endlessly varied and thought-provoking photographs of the modern application of an ancient art.

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Edgar Degas

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A compact survey of Degas's art from early portraits to late nudes and bathers.

Edgar Degas (1834-1917), a founding member of the Impressionist movement, was one of the group's most original and independent artists. This Tiny FolioTM offers insight into the themes and preoccupations that make his paintings, sculptures, and brilliant pastels so well-loved today.

As sublime as it is thorough, this survey of Degas's life and art illustrates his famous and perceptive portraits, his enchanting pictures of Parisian life, his beloved and popular racehorse scenes, his late nudes and bathers, and his celebrated depictions of the opera and ballet.

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St. Petersburg

Architecture of the Tsars

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Lavishly illustrated and elegantly written, this volume takes us on an architectural tour of one of the world's most beautiful and enchanting cities.

Before becoming a city, St. Petersburg was a utopian vision in the mind of its founder, Peter the Great. Conceived by him as Russia's "window to the West," it evolved into a remarkably harmonious assemblage of baroque, rococo, neoclassical, and art nouveau buildings that reflect his taste and that of his successors, including Anna I, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, and Paul I.

Crisscrossed by rivers and canals, this "Venice of the North," as Goethe dubbed it, is of unique beauty. Never before has that beauty been captured as eloquently as on the pages of this sumptuous volume. From the stately mansions lining the fabled Nevsky Prospekt to the magnificent palaces of the tsars on the outskirts of the city, including Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo, Oranienbaum, Gatchina, and Pavlovsk, photographer Alexander Orloff's portrait of St. Petersburg does full justice to the vision of its founder and namesake. The text, by art historian Dmitri Shvidkovsky, chronicles the history of the city's planning and construction from Peter the Great's time to the reign of the last tsar, Nicholas II.

Anyone who has ever visited--or dreamed of visiting--the city of "white nights" will find St. Petersburg irresistible.

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