In the 1960's and 1970's, American professor Norton Dodge forayed on his own in the Soviet Union, bought the work of underground "unofficial" artists, and brought it out himself or arranged to have it shipped illegally to the United States. John McPhee investigates Dodge's clandestine activities in the service of dissident Soviet art, his motives for his work, and the fates of several of the artists whose lives he touched. The Ransom of Russian Art is a suspenseful, chilling, and fascinating report on a covert operation like no other.
If you've always wanted to find out more about art but felt intimidated by the overeducated art world, then you've found the answer. Art For Dummies is the book that will have you and everyone you know clamoring outside the doors of your local museum. Thomas Hoving, former director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, is credited with revolutionizing the Met, doubling its size during his tenure, and bringing art to the masses. Let him bring art to you as well.
In Art For Dummies, Thomas Hoving provides a how-to guide to the art world. First, he guides you through an introduction to art appreciation, pointing out the details that you've always noticed but have never been able to explain. Next, Hoving takes you on a ride through art history. (Have you ever regretted not taking those art history classes in school With Art For Dummies, you'll feel all caught up and ready to spar with the local intellectuals.) Hoving even includes a guide to the world's top art cities and centers, a listing that can help you prepare for your next artistic voyage. With this guide, you can discover where to go in order to see the greatest works of art, and you can also find out about hidden treasures in nearby art museums.
You also get a great start for seeking out art with Hoving's lists of the greatest works of Western civilization, the most interesting artists, and the contemporary artists to watch. Don't wait another day to introduce yourself to the art world
The lively and intriguing tale of the competition between two artists, culminating in the construction of the Duomo in Florence, this is also the story of a city on the verge of greatness, and the dawn of the Renaissance, when everything artistic would change.
Florence's Duomo: the dome of the Santa Maria del Diore cathedral 埩s one of the most enduring symbols of the Italian Renaissance, an equal in influence and fame to Leonardo and Michaelangelo's works. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the temperamental architect who rediscovered the techniques of mathematical perspective. He was the dome's ⨮ventor,⟷hose secret methods for building remain a mystery as compelling to architects as Fermat's Last Theorem once was to mathematicians. Yet Brunelleschi didn't direct the construction of the dome alone. He was forced to share the commission with his archrival, the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose ⏡radise Doors⟡re also masterworks. This is the story of these two men, a tale of artistic genius and individual triumph.
As a novelist, art critic, and cultural historian, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger is a writer of dazzling eloquence and arresting insight whose work amounts to a subtle, powerful critique of the canons of our civilization. In About Looking he explores our role as observers to reveal new layers of meaning in what we see. How do the animals we look at in zoos remind us of a relationship between man and beast all but lost in the twentieth century? What is it about looking at war photographs that doubles their already potent violence? How do the nudes of Rodin betray the threats to his authority and potency posed by clay and flesh? And how does solitude inform the art of Giacometti? In asking these and other questions, Berger quietly -- but fundamentally -- alters the vision of anyone who reads his work.
Painter, designer, and filmmaker Salvador Dal (1904-1989) was one of the most colorful and controversial figures in 20th-century art. A pioneer of Surrealism, he was both praised and reviled for the subconscious imagery he projected into his paintings, which he sometimes referred to as "hand-painted dream photographs."
This early autobiography, which takes him through his late thirties, is as startling and unpredictable as his art. It is superbly illustrated with over 80 photographs of Dal and his works, and scores of Dal drawings and sketches. On its first publication, the reviewer of Books observed: "It is impossible not to admire this painter as writer. As a whole, he . . . communicates the snobbishness, self-adoration, comedy, seriousness, fanaticism, in short the concept of life and the total picture of himself he sets out to portray."
Dal 's flamboyant self-portrait begins with his earliest recollections and ends at the pinnacle of his earliest successes. His tantalizing chapter titles and headnotes -- among them "Intra-Uterine Memories," "Apprenticeship to Glory," "Permanent Expulsion from the School of Fine Arts," "Dandyism and Prison," "I am Disowned by my Family," "My Participation and my Position in the Surrealist Revolution," and "Discovery of the Apparatus for Photographing Thought" -- only hint at the compelling revelations to come.
Here are fascinating glimpses of the brilliant, ambitious, and relentlessly self-promoting artist who designed theater sets, shop interiors, and jewelry as readily as he made surrealistic paintings and films. Here is the mind that could envision and create with great technical virtuosity images of serene Raphaelesque beauty one moment and nightmarish landscapes of soft watches, burning giraffes, and fly-covered carcasses the next. For anyone interested in 20th-century art and one of its most gifted and charismatic figures, The Secret Life of Salvador Dal is must reading.
Exactly 100 years ago, art was at a crossroads. Painters such as Sargent, Whistler, Homer, and Rouault were widely acclaimed. Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, Munch, Klimt, and other modern masters were in their prime. And the revolutionaries who would go on to change the course of Western art -- Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Kandinsky, and Nolde, among others -- were just getting started.
This book, the companion volume to a major international exhibition, provides an eye-opening look at what these and other artists were creating in this watershed year. Organized by subject -- from bathers, femmes fatales, and self-portraits to rural scenes, religion, and social comment -- and featuring more than 300 colorplates, the book presents both famous and less well-known works. By including a wide range of paintings and sculptures executed at roughly the same time, Robert Rosenblum and MaryAnne Stevens illuminate the cultural crosscurrents that were reshaping Western art -- including nationalism, psychology, and technology -- and help us see familiar masterworks with a fresh eye.
A new perspective on Impressionist art that offers revealing, fresh interpretations of familiar paintings
In this handsome book, a leading authority on Impressionist painting offers a new view of this admired and immensely popular art form. John House examines the style and technique, subject matter and imagery, exhibiting and marketing strategies, and social, political, and ideological contexts of Impressionism in light of the perspectives that have been brought to it in the last twenty years. When all of these diverse approaches are taken into account, he argues, Impressionism can be seen as a movement that challenged both artistic and political authority with its uncompromisingly modern subject matter and its determinedly secular worldview.
Moving from the late 1860s to the early 1880s, House analyzes the paintings and career strategies of the leading Impressionist artists, pointing out the ways in which they countered the dominant conventions of the contemporary art world and evolved their distinctive and immediately recognizable manner of painting. Focusing closely on the technique, composition, and imagery of the paintings themselves and combining this fresh appraisal with recent historical studies of Impressionism, House explores how pictorial style could generate social and political meanings and opens new ways of looking at this luminous art.
Old master paintings are now considered to be the most valuable and prestigious of the visual arts, and the best examples command the highest prices of any luxury commodity. In this series of lectures Jonathan Brown tells in vivid detail the story of the rise of painting to this exalted status. The result is an exciting narrative of greed and passion, played out against a background of international politics and intrigue. This book, which is an essay in cultural and art history, is completed by a postscript showing why important old master paintings have now virtually disappeared from the art market.
The transformation of painting from an inexpensive to a costly art form reached a crucial stage in the royal courts of Europe in the seventeenth century, where rulers and aristocrats assembled huge collections, often in short periods of time. Brown traces this process in Madrid, Paris, London, and Brussels, beginning with the dispersal of the great English collections in the aftermath of the Civil War, including those of Charles I, the Earl of Arundel, and the Dukes of Buckingham and Hamilton. Hundreds of great pictures were all at once available to continental collectors and were acquired by Cardinal Jules Mazarin, Louis XIV of France, Archduke Leopold William of Austria, and Philip IV of Spain, as well as lesser-known collectors, including Everhard Jabach and Luis de Haro. Through comparative analysis of collecting and collectors at these courts, Brown explains the formation of new attitudes toward pictures, as well as the mechanisms that supported the enterprise of collecting, including the emergence of the art dealer, the development of connoisseurship, and the publication of sumptuous picture books of various collections.