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El Greco, Vel zquez, Rembrandt
** Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times, Sunday Times and Observer ** 'Compulsively readable - the pages seem to turn themselves' John Carey, Sunday Times 'Brings one of the very greatest [artists] vividly to life' Literary Review Thomas Gainsborough lived as if electricity shot through his sinews and crackled at his finger ends. He was a gentle and empathetic family man, but had a volatility that could lead him to slash his paintings, and a loose libidinous way of speaking, writing and behaving that shocked many deeply. He would be dynamite in polite society today. In this exhilarating new biography - the first in decades - James Hamilton reveals Gainsborough in his many contexts: the easy-going Suffolk lad, transported to the heights of fashion by a natural talent; the rake-on-the-make in London, learning his art in the shadow of Hogarth; falling on his feet when he married a duke's daughter with a handsome private income; the top society-portrait painter in Bath and London who earned huge sums by bringing the right people into his studio; the charming and amusing friend of George III and Queen Charlotte who nevertheless kept clear of the aristocratic embrace. There has been much art history written about this chameleon of art, but with fresh insights into original sources, Gainsborough: A Portrait transforms our understanding of this fascinating man, and enlightens the century that bore him.
Thomas Hart Benton was a thoroughly American artist. His regionally focused paintings and murals depicted everyday American life as well as the country's history. This volume focuses on one of the most American of Benton's associations: Hollywood. Not only did Benton create commissioned murals and portraits of film stars and movies, but he also developed a style that was highly theatrical and narrative. This volume is the first to collect all the works conceived by Benton for the film industry. It includes related ephemera, photographs and documents of Benton at work, along with a series of thought-provoking essays that explore a diverse array of topics - from Benton's engagement with American identity from the 1920s to the 1960s to parallels between Benton's use of Old Master methods and film production techniques. Fans of Thomas Hart Benton will find surprising insights into his career, while those fascinated by Hollywood history will discover how one of America's most revered artists shaped and was in turn influenced by the film industry. Published in association with the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.
"I painted my world, my life, all the things I loved, all the things I dreamed of, all the things I could not say in words. I painted my beloved Russia, my hometown Vitebsk, the Jewish neighborhood where I grew up, the way I saw everything as a child."
During prayers he would daydream; in school he was distracted; and at home he worried about what profession he should choose. But when the young Marc Chagall realized he had artistic talent, he translated his unusual way of looking at the world into color and shape.
Chagall grew up, became a painter, and traveled the world, but he never forgot about his hometown of Vitebsk, Belarus, the place that shaped his character and inspired his art.
This book, loosely based on Chagall's autobiography, gives readers a glimpse into the early life of one of the twentieth century's most significant painters. Landmann's charming three-dimensional mixed-media illustrations celebrate the colorful, the whimsical, and the extraordinary aspects of Chagall's life and work.
Who branded painting in the Pop age more brazenly than Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Ed Ruscha? And who probed the Pop revolution in image and identity more intensely than they? In "The First Pop Age," leading critic and historian Hal Foster presents an exciting new interpretation of Pop art through the work of these Pop Five.
Beautifully illustrated in color throughout, the book reveals how these seminal artists hold on to old forms of art while drawing on new subjects of media; how they strike an ambiguous attitude toward both high art and mass culture; and how they suggest that a heightened confusion between images and people is definitive of Pop culture at large.
As "The First Pop Age" looks back to the early years of Pop art, it also raises important questions about the present: What has changed in the look of screened and scanned images today? Is our media environment qualitatively different from that described by Warhol and company? Have we moved beyond the Pop age, or do we live in its aftermath?
A masterful account of one of the most important periods of twentieth-century art, this is a book that also sheds new light on our complex relationship to images today.
Over the past 25 years Ian Davenport has consistently employed intensely rigorous and unconventional painting processes. This book provides an in-depth examination of his production, from his electric fan paintings, to his poured arches, circles, lines and puddle paintings. He has experimented with method and medium, exploring the qualities and applications of paints, both in his early monochrome paintings and in his later complex colour combinations. His paintings draw upon the rich heritage of European and American abstraction, and also the contemporary urban environment of London. Davenport is a keen drummer and listens to music while he paints. The musical influence is important; in his more recent paintings the repetition of multiple vertical lines of various colours creates an underlying rhythm that pulses through each work.
The Flemish painter Jean Brusselmans (1884-1953) was a contemporary of artists such as Constant Permeke and Gustave De Smet. He began his artistic career at the height of Flemish Expressionism, but he was far more than a pure Expressionist. His ultimate goal was to reveal the harmonic order of things in his paintings. Brusselmans' oeuvre cannot easily be pigeonholed into one category or another. He was always searching for a refined, authentic art, for the correct proportions and for the perfect balance between figuration and abstraction. Brusselmans reduced reality to its essence. He was profoundly influenced by, amongst other things, Belgian abstract artists, constructivists, Cezanne's structural use of colour and the objective idiom of Le Corbusier. Jean Brusselmans was one of the most original artists of Belgian modernism. His innovative style was, and still is, a source of inspiration for many contemporary artists. This catalogue is published to coincide with a major exhibition by Jean Brusselmans at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (17 February - 10 June 2018), which will then travel to Chemnitz, Germany. The exhibition focuses on the period 1931-1949, in which Brusselmans developed a highly personal style and idiom. With text contributions from, amongst others, Rudi Fuchs (art historian) and Hans Janssen (curator, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague) and an interview with Jan Dibbets. Text in English and Dutch.
Johannes Vermeer's luminous paintings are loved and admired around the world, yet we do not understand how they were made. We see sunlit spaces; the glimmer of satin, silver, and linen; we see the softness of a hand on a lute string or letter. We recognise the distilled impression of a moment of time; and we feel it to be real. We might hope for some answers from the experts, but they are confounded too. Even with the modern technology available, they do not know why there is no evidence of any preliminary drawing; why there are shifts in focus; and why his pictures are unusually blurred. Some wonder if he might possibly have used a camera obscura to capture what he saw before him. The few traces Vermeer has left behind tell us little: there are no letters or diaries; and no reports of him at work. Jane Jelley has taken a new path in this detective story. A painter herself, she has worked with the materials of his time: the cochineal insect and lapis lazuli; the sheep bones, soot, earth, and rust. She shows us how painters made their pictures layer by layer; she investigates old secrets; and hears travellers' tales. She explores how Vermeer could have used a lens in the creation of his masterpieces. The clues were there all along. After all this time, now we can unlock the studio door, and catch a glimpse of Vermeer inside, painting light.
In 1505, Michelangelo began planning the magnificent tomb for Pope Julius II, which would dominate the next forty years of his career. Repeated failures to complete the monument were characterized by Condivi, Michelangelo's authorized biographer, as "the tragedy of the tomb." This definitive book thoroughly documents the art of the tomb and each stage of its complicated evolution. Edited by Christoph Luitpold Frommel, who also acted as the lead consultant on tge recent restoration campaign, this volume offers new post-restoration photography that reveal the beauty of the tomb overall, its individual statues, and its myriad details. This book traces Michelangelo's stylistic evolution; documents the dialogue between the artist and his great friend and exacting patron, Pope Julius II (who died long before the work was completed); unravels the complicated relationship between the master and his assistants, who executed large parts of the design; and sheds new light on the importance of Neo-Platonism in Michelangelo's thinking, which gave shape to the tomb's most famous statue, the Moses, and the work as a whole. A rich trove of documents in the original Latin and archaic Italian-many unpublished-relates the story firsthand through letters, contracts, and other records covering Michelangelo's travels, the purchase of the marble, the concerns that arose as work progressed, and numerous disagreements and negotiations. The book also includes catalogues of fifteen sculptures designed for the tomb and more than 80 related drawings, as well as an extensive and up-to-date bibliography.
The third volume of a catalogue raisonne of Luc Tuymans's paintings, surveying nearly two hundred works, charts the artist's investigation into painting's relationship to history and technology. Tuymans is widely credited with having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s. His sparsely colored, figurative works speak in a quiet, restrained, and at times unsettling voice and are typically painted from preexisting imagery that includes photographs and video stills. The works in this volume, made between 2007 to 2018, show Tuymans at his most virtuosic, subtly but provocatively addressing a range of topics including religion, corporatization, and cultural memory, in addition to modernism and the history of painting. The Internet, in particular, is central to these works as well as the screen-leading to a new style of contemporary image. The works are mediatized to the nth degree, despite the artist's continuous use of the traditional medium of painting. There is a certain kind of light that comes out of a screen, which can be found in Tuymans's recent paintings. This volume includes an editor's note by Eva Meyer-Hermann and an illustrated chronology with archival images and installation views of the featured works. It also presents brilliant color reproductions of each painting from this period. This publication is a testament to Tuymans's persistent assertion of the relevance and importance of painting-a conviction that he maintains even in today's digital world, when his work continues to be a touchstone for artists and scholars.
"Let us agree," Federico Garcia Lorca wrote, "that one of man's
most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."
Eclecticism, selective imitation, Paleotti, Carracci, Malvasia
Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest Dutch painters and for some the single greatest painter of all, produced a remarkably small corpus of work. In Vermeer's Family Secrets, Benjamin Binstock revolutionizes how we think about Vermeer's work and life. Vermeer, The Sphinx of Delft, is famously a mystery in art: despite the common claim that little is known of his biography, there is actually an abundance of fascinating information about Vermeer's life that Binstock brings to bear on Vermeer's art for the first time; he also offers new interpretations of several key documents pertaining to Vermeer that have been misunderstood. Lavishly illustrated with more than 180 black and white images and more than sixty color plates, the book also includes a remarkable color two-page spread that presents the entirety of Vermeer's oeuvre arranged in chronological order in 1/20 scale, demonstrating his gradual formal and conceptual development. No book on Vermeer has ever done this kind ofvisual comparison of his complete output. Like Poe's purloined letter, Vermeer's secrets are sometimes out in the open where everyone can see them. Benjamin Binstock shows us where to look. Piecing together evidence, the tools of art history, and his own intuitive skills, he gives us for the first time a history of Vermeer's work in light of Vermeer's life.
On almost every page of Vermeer's Family Secrets, there is a perception or an adjustment that rethinks what we know about Vermeer, his oeuvre, Dutch painting, and Western Art. Perhaps the most arresting revelation of Vermeer's Family Secrets is the final one: In response to inconsistencies in technique, materials, and artistic level, Binstock posits thatseveral of the paintings accepted as canonical works by Vermeer, are in fact not by Vermeer at all but by his eldest daughter, Maria. How he argues this is one of the book's many pleasures.
Pieter Brugel the Elder - Fall of the Rebel Angels argues that many of the hybrid falling angels are carefully composed of naturalia and artificialia, as they were collected in art and curiosity cabinets of the time. Bruegel's much noted emulation of Jheronymus Bosch was thus only part of his wider interest in collecting, inspecting, and imitating the artistic and natural world around him. This prompts an examination of the world at the time that Bruegel painted the Fall of the Rebel Angels, locally, in the urban and courtly centres of Antwerp and Brussels on the eve of the Dutch revolt, and globally, as the discovery of the New World irreversibly transformed the European perception of art and nature. Painted as a tale of hubris and pride, Bruegel's masterpiece becomes a meditation on the potential and danger of man's pursuit of art, knowledge and politics, a universal theme that has lost nothing of its power today.
The book celebrates the lives of 17 Black leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the liberation, unity and solidarity of Africa and African peoples throughout the world. Inspired by the "Pan-Africanists" portfolio, a series of oil paintings by artist Barrington Watson, the authors present the reader with succinct biographies of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, C.L.R. James, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Haile Selassie, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X and Nelson Madela. Not all of them necessarily belonged formally to a Pan-Africanist organization or ever used the term in description to themselves. But the life of each one of them manifests the core values of Pan-Africanism. Together, their lives represent a powerful embodiment of the history of the social movement. This is both an art book and an important reference work for young readers throughout Africa and the Diaspora.
* The outstanding photographs in this book focus on an odd detail in a selection of the world's most famous paintings in the largest and best known museum - they only show feet and shoes. With texts in four languages from an outstanding art expert and icon of Mexican literary studies * A must-have for all shoe fetishists and art lovers * Winner of the 2012 Printissimo Award in the category Art, Austria's award for outstanding print products In acclaimed photographer Lois Lammerhuber's pictures, shod feet in the Louvre paintings reveal undreamt-of information about people. The details are not only separate works of art, but also studies on centuries of shoe fashion and an excursion into social history. Almost intimate, the photographs raise the world of feet and footwear to eye level, showing delicate shoes and stout limbs; feet without shoes and shoes without feet. The viewing angle is a special one, not only for art enthusiasts but also for shoe lovers. Raphael, Goya, or Ingres did not produce or design footwear, but they all 'recorded' shoes, contributing to a history of footwear and at the same time creating fashion archives of shoes that people stepped out in between 1280 and 1863. In a brilliant discourse, Margo Glantz, an icon of Mexican literary studies, introduces the viewer to original thoughts on painting and footwear design, the history and sociology of shoes.
For nearly four decades in the 16th century, the careers of Venice's three greatest painters - Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese - overlapped, producing mutual influences and bitter rivalries that changed the course of art history. Venice was then among Europe's richest cities, and its plentiful commissions fostered an exceptionally fertile and innovative climate. In this climate, the three artists - brilliant, ambitious and fiercely competitive - vied with each other for primacy, deploying such new media as oil on canvas, with its unique expressive possibilities, and such new approaches as a personal and identifiable 'signature style'. They also pioneered the use of easel painting, a newly portable format that led to unprecedented fame in their lifetimes. With over 150 stunning examples by the three masters and their contemporaries, "Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese" elucidates the technical and aesthetic innovations that helped define the uniquely rich 'Venetian style', as well as the social, political and economic context in which it flourished. The essays range from examinations of seminal new techniques to such crucial institutions as state commissions and the patronage system. Most of all, by concentrating on the lives and careers of Venice's three greatest painters, the volume paints an equally vibrant human portrait - one brimming with savage rivalry, one-upmanship, humour and passion.
Published to accompany the first Francis Bacon retrospective in Paris for twenty years, this catalogue analyses Bacon's works from 1971 onwards in light of his relationship to literature. Bacon always vigorously opposed over-analysis of his paintings, preferring to interpret them in purely illustrative or symbolic terms; he admitted, however, that literature was a powerful stimulus to his imagination. The artist was inspired by the images conjured up by certain texts: Aeschylus' phrase 'the reek of human blood smiles out at me' in particular haunted Bacon, while his 1978 work Painting refers to T. S. Eliot's seminal poem The Waste Land. The inventory of Bacon's personal library has identified more than 1,300 books, ranging from Bataille and Conrad to Nietzsche and Leiris. Including twelve of Bacon's renowned triptychs, this lavish publication features eleven gatefolds and some sixty paintings created by Bacon between 1971 and his death in 1992. Reproduced here with analyses of Bacon's paintings in the light of some of his most admired authors, these specially commissioned texts reveal new ways of understanding some of the most powerful works in the modern canon.
Peter Paul Rubens was one of the most productive and exciting painters of his time, noted for his expressive, emotive and sensual paintings which are now instantly recognizable. Indeed, his voluptuous female figures have given rise to the word 'Rubenesque'. This book explores the life and times of Rubens, from his early studies in Italy through to his apprenticeship in Antwerp and his subsequent outstanding accomplishments as 'the prince of painters and the painter of princes'. It also contains a gallery of 300 of his paintings and drawings, revealing his unparalleled position as an artist, diplomat, scholar, linguist, teacher, art collector and devoted family man.
Rembrandt van Rjin (1606-1669) was among the few celebrated old masters who enjoyed considerable freedom in his choice of subject matter. Living and working in the Protestant Netherlands, he painted largely for private patrons and the open market, selecting his own subjects in the hope of finding buyers. Although he depicted biblical, historical, and mythological themes in emulation of the great artists of the past, his subjects often focus on fundamental human experiences and emotions that transcend their literary sources. Even when working within the confines of specific commissions, Rembrandt managed to imbue his paintings with deeper, personal meanings. These works reveal the artist's profound humanity and at times reflect the circumstances of his life. This illuminating study explores some of the central themes of Rembrandt's paintings, drawings, and etchings: grand - love, sin, repentance and forgiveness, adultery, fatherhood, and the conflict between the generations - as well as mundane and idiosyncratic. It demonstrates how Rembrandt's subjects can offer new revelations about this complex artist.
The only book available on Scottish painting, this book is now in its third edition with a new introduction and final chapter that brings the book up to date with the latest developments in Scottish painting (Richard Wright's win of the Turner Prize 2009). Illustrated throughout, the work is by acknowledged authority on Scottish painting William Hardie. Scottish society has been reflected through the strong colour and energetic brushwork of its artists. The book traces the beginnings of Scottish painting from the foundation of the Foulis Academy in 1753, with William Dyce and Scott Lauder establishing themselves in the south, followed by W Q Orchardson and John Pettie around 1860. European travel ensured Scottish painters were open to new techniques, and the explosion of the Glasgow Boys and then the Colourists onto the scene meant Scotland was respected for its innovation and imagination. Charles Rennie Mackintosh today is still internationally recognised for his work, and the painting of John Byrne, Curister, and Peter Howson bring the book to the present day.
A fascinating exploration of the life and work of one of America's most famous and enigmatic postwar visual artists Mark Rothko, one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century, was born in the Jewish Pale of Settlement in 1903. He immigrated to the United States at age ten, taking with him his Talmudic education and his memories of pogroms and persecutions in Russia. His integration into American society began with a series of painful experiences, especially as a student at Yale, where he felt marginalized for his origins and ultimately left the school. The decision to become an artist led him to a new phase in his life. Early in his career, Annie Cohen-Solal writes, "he became a major player in the social struggle of American artists, and his own metamorphosis benefited from the unique transformation of the U.S. art world during this time." Within a few decades, he had forged his definitive artistic signature, and most critics hailed him as a pioneer. The numerous museum shows that followed in major U.S. and European institutions ensured his celebrity. But this was not enough for Rothko, who continued to innovate. Ever faithful to his habit of confronting the establishment, he devoted the last decade of his life to cultivating his new conception of art as an experience, thanks to the commission of a radical project, the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Cohen-Solal's fascinating biography, based on considerable archival research, tells the unlikely story of how a young immigrant from Dvinsk became a crucial transforming agent of the art world-one whose legacy prevails to this day.
This is a unique chance to see works from two remarkable private Swiss collections. It pays tribute to two pioneering supporters of modernism, Rudolf Staechelin (1881-1946) and Karl Im Obersteg (1883-1969), industrialists and businessmen, close friends, and enthusiastic champions of impressionist, post-impressionist, and school of Paris artists. Gauguin to Picasso, Masterworks from Switzerland features over sixty celebrated paintings from their collections, created during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century by twenty-two world-famous artists. Masterpieces include Paul Gauguin's Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you Marry?) (1892), the most expensive work of art ever sold, Vincent van Gogh's Daubigny's Garden (1890), Pablo Picasso's double-sided canvas Femme dans la loge / Buveuse d'absinthe (1901), and Marc Chagall's three monumental Rabbi portraits. There are extraordinary paintings by artists of international stature including Swiss master Ferdinand Hodler, Russian expressionist painter Alexej Jawlensky, works by Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Amedeo Modigliani, Georges Rouault, and Wassily Kandinsky. The volume also studies how Staechlin and Im Obersteg developed friendships with and influenced the work of artists, and how they came to create two of the most significant collections of modern art in Europe. Dorothy Kosinski is the director of The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Hans-Joachim Muller is an art critic at the German weekly paper Die Zeit and the culture editor at Basler Zeitung Henriette Mentha is the Curator of the Im Obersteg Collection at the Kunstmuseum Basel. Renee Maurer is assistant curator, The Phillips Collection.
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