Van Gogh's Ear
The True Story
The best-known incident in Van Gogh’s life is also the least understood. Interweaving the story of her own detective work with that of the artist’s final crisis, Bernadette Murphy reconstructs Van Gogh’s Arles, with its cafés and brothels. She explores his relationships with his brother Theo and fellow painter Gauguin, and identifies many locals he knew, including policemen, prostitutes, shepherds, artists, and the mysterious Rachel, recipient of his severed ear.
The Accomplished Lady
A History of Genteel Pursuits c. 1660–1860
Drawing on a broad range of sources, including contemporary diaries, letters and periodicals, this richly illustrated social history examines the pastimes of upper-class women within the context of the highly restrictive patriarchal society in which they lived. Covering pursuits such as painting, embroidery, feather work and photography, the author also considers how other aspects of the female experience, notably education, marital status and domestic responsibilities, influenced their creative output.
London in the Company of Painters
London has fascinated painters for centuries, and central to that appeal has been the Thames. The 158 paintings in this book follow the river from Whistler’s Chelsea in the west to Turner’s Greenwich in the east, accompanied by an introductory text for each area and extensive captions giving historical context. Along the way are Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Lowry’s Piccadilly Circus, and St Paul’s, depicted both in 18th-century splendour by Canaletto and amid the ruins of the Blitz by David Bomberg.
Translating Nature Into Art
Holbein, The Reformation, and Renaissance Rhetoric
Jeanne Nuechterlein’s illustrated study focuses on Hans Holbein the Younger’s portraits, examining the artist’s ‘capacity to capture detail with such accuracy, and to turn everyday sights into such sublime representation’. Nuechterlein discusses Holbein’s approach to portraiture and religious subjects, particularly his stark depiction of Christ in Dead Christ (1521–22), in the context of contemporary debates about the nature of the world and how to communicate meaning.
The Jewish World
100 Treasures of Art and Culture
The Magnes Collection was founded in Berkeley, California, in 1962 and dedicated, in the words of its director, Alla Efimova, to ‘salvaging the floating remnants of the post-Holocaust Jewish world’. This volume, reflecting Dr Efimova’s personal view of the museum’s global mission and the range of artefacts within the collection, includes ritual objects and manuscripts from far-flung Jewish communities, past and present, and paintings, photographs and ephemera that represent the history of Californian congregations since the gold rush era.
How Do We Look, The Eye of Faith
In How Do We Look, Mary Beard explores how the human body was portrayed in the earliest art, including the colossal Olmec heads of Central America, Egyptian pharaohs, Chinese warriors and Praxiteles’ Aphrodite in ancient Greece. In Part Two, The Eye of Faith she visits Buddhist temples, Christian art and architecture, and Islamic mosques and calligraphy to explore the relationship between art and religion and the endeavour to make the divine visible.
The Pursuit of Immortality
Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals
Portrait medals, which commemorate individuals through a combination of likeness, imagery and text, were an important artistic innovation of the Renaissance. Ng presents fine examples, ranging from the 15th to 19th century, which are now in one of the world’s most significant private collections. She traces the art form’s origins and development, discussing the techniques used across Europe to make medals and the personal and political purposes for which they were produced.
Masterpieces from the Städel Museum
Frankfurt’s Städel Museum has a world-class collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. This chronological selection reproduces 250 works, mostly paintings, by Old Masters including Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Holbein, leading Impressionists such as Manet, Monet and Renoir, and the pioneering Modernists Matisse, Picasso and Chagall. The result is not only a catalogue of a major collection, but an overview of 700 years of art history.
Crossing the Channel
British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism
During the period between the restoration of the French monarchy at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, hostility in politics between Britain and France gave way to mutual admiration in the arts. This magnificent catalogue of a 2003 exhibition at Tate Britain deals mainly with painting and brings together works by major figures such as Constable, Delacroix, Turner and Vernet to explore how artists from each country influenced their counterparts on the other side of the Channel.
Art and Culture in Times of Conflict
At Museum Leuven in 2014, the exhibition entitled Ravaged explored the devastation of art and cultural property, whether by burning, bombing, iconoclasm or looting, and the depiction of that devastation by artists. This accompanying volume reproduces the 78 artworks exhibited but expands on the theme with over 30 illustrated essays on topics ranging from the loss of the Library of Alexandria to the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in 2001.
On the Seven Deadly Sins
Drawing on his experience in politics, former MP Kenneth Baker examines how the Seven Deadly Sins have been depicted in art and literature through the ages. Using excerpts from plays, poetry and fiction, he discusses the sins, reflects on their continuing presence in today’s more secular society, and concludes that life would be banal and unchallenging without them. The extensive illustrations include works by old masters such as Botticelli and Bosch, press photographs, and cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson, Bateman, Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.
Art, Artisans and Apprentices
Apprentice Painters and Sculptors in the Early Modern British Tradition
James Ayres’s study of apprentice painters and sculptors in Britain and North America before the foundation of formal art academies in London in 1768 and Philadelphia in 1805, describes the relationship between art and the various trades from which most artists emerged.
The Last Emperor's Collection
Masterpieces of Painting and Calligraphy from the Liaoning Provincial Museum
Comprising several essays and a catalogue of over 40 paintings and works of calligraphy, reproduced on gatefolds where appropriate, this volume accompanied an American exhibition of works on loan from the Liaoning Provincial Museum. The paintings, which represent the most characteristic art forms of Chinese traditional culture, were originally part of the imperial collection from the Qianlong period (1736–95). Text in English and Chinese.
Understanding Architectural Drawings and Historical Visual Sources
In chapters on architectural drawings, maps and mapping conventions, topographical views and other visual sources including models, pattern books, guide books and photographs, a group of architectural and art historians explain the provenance, purpose and terminology of a range of visual sources from the 16th to 20th centuries, and how they can help – and sometimes hinder – an understanding of an original building and its history.
Artist and Mannequin from Function to Fetish
Posable models or lay figures have for centuries been a fixture in artists' studios, particularly used by classical painters to arrange drapery. Through a series of illustrated essays, this book, published to accompany the exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, analyses how the artist's tool developed currency as a subject in its own right and explores the meaning and symbolism of mannequins in the work of artists from 17th-century Dutch masters to Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Life, Art and Civilisation
The youngest ever Director of the National Gallery, Kenneth Clark inspired a generation to appreciate the beauty of art and architecture through his groundbreaking TV series Civilisation. Yet his urbane, erudite public image concealed a troubled private life. Nominated Book of the Year by the Sunday Times, the Spectator, the Economist and the New York Times, this biography perceptively analyses the emotional and intellectual contradictions of a complex and charismatic figure.
The Artist's Studio
Accompanying an exhibition at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, and edited by the curator, this book offers a series of essays on artists’ workspaces from the late 16th century to the present; the squalor of some studios, notably that of Francis Bacon; their location; and studio space today – all richly illustrated with paintings, drawings and photographs.
Soane's Favourite Subject
The Story of Dulwich Picture Gallery
The world’s first purpose-built public art gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery opened in 1811 to house a collection of old masters assembled for the deposed king of Poland. Since then, John Soane’s revolutionary building, which incorporates the mausoleum of its founders, has proved vastly influential. This book tells the story of its creation, includes a chronological catalogue of historic images of the gallery, including the original architectural drawings, and charts the modifications it has undergone over the succeeding two centuries.
The Honour and Grandeur
Regalia, Gold and Silver at the Mansion House
Henry V's victory at the Battle of Agincourt had been largely funded by the City of London and in gratitude he presented the Lord Mayor with the Crystal Sceptre, which has remained part of the treasures of the office ever since. This book examines the city's regalia and gold and silver collection, much of it photographed here for the first time, including important items of the finest craftsmanship from the 15th century to the present day.
A pioneering woman in the arts and one of the founding artists of American modernism, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1987) made her debut at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 gallery in New York in 1916. A century later, Tate Modern celebrated her work with a major exhibition and this lavishly illustrated study of her life and work. Accompanying over 300 reproductions, six essays cover the whole span of O’Keeffe’s art, from the early ‘artistic dialogue’ with Stieglitz to the abstract landscapes of her late work.
Tiles and Tilework of Europe
This handsome, lavishly illustrated volume charts the production and use of ceramics in architecture and interior decoration from the Middle Ages to the present. Drawing on the rich collection of London’s V&A, the book discusses different traditions and techniques, from the encaustic tiles of the Gothic era through Dutch Delftware to the lively, inventive work of Duncan Grant, while the influence of the Islamic world is shown in the tiles of Moorish Spain and Victorian England.
The Artistic Ape
Three Million Years of Art
In 1967 Desmond Morris published The Naked Ape, his pioneering study of human behaviour patterns; now he brings his expertise as a surrealist painter to a history of ‘the complex activity that we refer to as art’. Looking back to the earliest known visual art, he uncovers the biological roots of the human species’ artistic impulses, compares pictures made by non-human animals and examines how traditions around the world have reflected art’s evolution from prehistoric times to the present.
Pablo Picasso: To Color In
The Master of Modern Art
Suitable for both paints and pencils, this large-format colouring book reproduces 20 key works, and allows you to combine relaxation and learning as you study the originals and imitate the artist's techniques. Includes advise on how to approach colouring, a biography and detailed commentary on each artwork, putting it in the context of the artist's life and career.
The Commedia dell'Arte and Porcelain Sculpture
Since the Renaissance, the characters of the Commedia dell'Arte - Harlequin, Columbine, Scaramouche and the rest - have inspired plays, paintings, engravings and porcelain. Based on some of the world's most important collections, including Toronto's Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, this engaging, magnificently illustrated survey showcases 150 exquisite figures from leading manufacturers including the celebrated works at Meissen. It explains the hidden meaning of these mysterious characters, and how a bawdy form of street theatre became an elegant courtly entertainment.
An Illustrated Handbook
Much of Britain's architectural heritage was fashioned not by architects but by jobbing builders, using methods passed down through the generations. Extensively illustrated with photographs, maps, plans and elevations, this lucid guide explains the historical development and regional variations of vernacular architecture. It explores the various building types – from manor houses to cottages, farms to industrial premises – construction methods and materials, and decorative details, while the appendices explain how to research the subject, make detailed records and carry out surveys. Slightly Off-mint.
The Last Days of Pompeii
Decadence. Apocalypse. Resurrection
'The most famously dead of all ancient cities, yet the one that comes most vividly alive to us today', Pompeii has provided a metaphor for artists to explore the concerns of their own day ever since its rediscovery in the 18th century. This volume, which accompanied an exhibition at the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, explores the legacy of Pompeii in 92 works that range from 18th-century recreations of Roman murals to paintings by artists including Dali, Rothko and Warhol.
Treasures of the Black Death
During the Black Death, Jews in what is now Germany were made scapegoats and attacked in pogroms. They fled, some burying their most precious possessions, hoping to return. The 'treasures' of this exhibition catalogue are two such hoards of wedding rings, jewellery, gold and silver tablewares and coins. They are described and illustrated, along with essays on the Colmar and Erfurt hoards and their cultural context.
A Capital View
The Art of Edinburgh: One Hundred Artworks from the City Collection
Since the mid-18th century, Edinburgh's City Council has amassed over 4,500 artworks in a variety of media – including drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, photography and tapestry – and the collection, which focuses on Scottish art, continues to grow. In this handsome volume, Popiel presents reproductions and detailed commentaries on a selection of 100 works which depict Edinburgh and its inhabitants, from a 'prospect' of the city by John Abraham Slezer (c.1650–1717) to David Annand's statue of Robert Fergusson (2004).
The Gallery of Missing Masterpieces
The current wealth of the art market is making it more attractive than ever to thieves and unethical dealers. Illustrated with reproductions of missing works and drawing on the work of Julian Radcliffe of the Art Loss Register, this volume tells the stories of stolen paintings and artefacts ranging from Old Masters to Warhol screen prints and examines topics such as the looting of antiquities, Nazi art theft and the problems facing the art world today. Off-mint.
A Doctor in the Great War
Andrew Davison tells the story of the 1st Cameronians, who achieved notoriety for selling the Great War's first front-line photographs, and Fred Davidson, their 25-year-old medical officer, one of the first doctors to win the Military Cross. The book presents the photographs taken (despite the ban on cameras) by Fred and his fellow officers, to offer an unusually intimate portrait of life among the 'Old Contemptibles', from a parade ground in Glasgow to the brothels of Armentières. Off-mint.
The Chronology of Pattern
Pattern in Art from Lotus Flower to Flower Power
A richly illustrated sourcebook, this journey through 3,000 years of pattern styles reveals geographical and cultural contrasts and connections from late Bronze Age metalwork motifs to 21st-century fashion design. Including a visual timeline, analyses of elements of pattern, biographies of the great innovators and examples from textiles, paintings, mosaics, engravings and architecture from around the world, the book provides an inspirational design resource and an expert guide to the history and development of pattern in art.
Clerics and Connoisseurs
An Irish Art Collection Through Three Centuries
The author of The Gentleman’s and Connoisseur’s Dictionary of Painters (1770), the Rev Matthew Pilkington was himself a great connoisseur: this exhibition catalogue examines his and his family’s collection through seven generations, with reproductions and commentary on over 100 paintings. Slightly off-mint.