Tibet has produced some of the most distinctive and creative art in the world. From a bleak and often inaccessible landscape arose an artistic tradition so vibrant and sophisticated that even China's emperors commissioned works. With the spread of Buddhism in the West, inspired by the leadership of the exiled Dalai Lama, and the controversy over Tibet's political status, interest in this mysterious land has never been greater. The book covers the entire history of Tibetan art, from its tenth century roots to the present, focusing on the inextricably intertwined relationship between the art and the spiritual life of the region. From the Potala in Lhasa--one of the world's greatest religious complexes---to painting, sculpture, manuscripts, silk embroidery and a highly developed tradition of portraiture and ritual objects, Tibet's unique artistic culture is vividly presented in this compelling study. 180 illus.
Lewis's survey of the Gothic revival treats individual buildings and broad movements in England, Europe and the USA with fresh authority. This is a comprehensive introduction to one of the most colourful periods in the history of architecture.
Examining inscriptions on landscape paintings and related documents, this book explores the views of the two jewels of Japanese Zen literature, Gido Shushin (1325-1388) and Zekkai Chushin (1336-1405), and their students. These monks played important roles as advisors to the shoguns Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408) and Yoshimochi (1386-1428), as well as to major figures in various michi or Ways of linked verse, the No theatre, ink painting, rock gardens, and other arts. By applying images of mountain retreats to their busy urban lives in the capital, these Five Mountain Zen monks provoke reconsiderations of the relation between secular and sacred and nature and culture.
More than a survey, this three-volume showcase celebrates the traditions and contemporary life of one of the world's most ancient civilizations, with 1250 color photographs and plates (up to 18 x 12 inches) and captions and essays by leading Iranian academics and art historians. These gorgeous books cover every aspect of Iran's art and culture, from the 2500-year-old Pazyryk Carpet to the magnificent Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, from the Sassanian reliefs at Parsargadae through contemporary wall painting in Tehran. The catalog also underscores how ancient traditions still affect the life and customs of present-day Iran in almost every sphere of human activity, including sculpture, painting, tile work, jewelry, carpet making, gardening, architecture and engineering, science and medicine, philosophy and folklore, and in the enduring importance of poetry.
Wanda M. Corn's long-awaited new book proposes a remarkable revisioning of the history of American modern art between the two world wars. Moving away from issues of style and abstraction, she bases her work on a broad examination of culture and on discourses of national identity. Corn argues that the key questions for interwar modernists in New York and Paris were whether or not it was possible to create an art that was both American and modern, and if it was, what such an art would look like. Both European and American artists debated these questions and made art that responded to them.Corn organizes each chapter around a careful reading of a work of art, probing first its peculiar poetry and style and then its connection to its artist and the cultural influences surrounding it. The result is an unfolding of the work's contingent relationships with history, literature, art criticism, music, and popular culture. The works she examines--from those made by the Stieglitz circle to those by European Dadaists--were part of the quest for "the Great American Thing," a quest that was international in scope and that inspired a decade of vibrant cultural exchange between the art capitals of Europe and New York. Passionate and eminently readable, with more than 300 illustrations--drawings, paintings, sculptures, advertisements, cartoons, and documentary photographs--The Great American Thing indelibly alters the way we think about the first decades of American modernism and the legacy it created.
Few individuals have had a greater influence on the development of Western painting than the 16th-century Venetian artist Titian. His vibrant colours and exciting brushwork have made his work a constant inspiration to artists, from Rubens to the Impressionists and beyond. Every generation has found something new to admire in his astonishing technique, which enabled him to produce fresh interpretations of the most familiar religious and mythological stories as well as portraits and landscapes.
The world's most well known works of art are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. What has made these images so popular, and how did they come into existence? The Private Life of a Masterpiece answers these questions by delving into the secrets of iconic works of art dating from 1501 to 1950. Piecing together a trail of clues, it examines each work from conception through completion to afterlife, detailing how the commission came about, the preparation undertaken by the artist, the way the work was executed, how the finished work was received, and its influence on other artists. We learn, for example, that Leonardo devised a new form of perspective when painting the Mona Lisa, and that four centuries later Picasso was detained for stealing the portrait from the Louvre; that Goya painted The Third of May 1808 as a criticism of the monarchy but nonetheless offered it to the king as a gift; that Van Gogh's Sunflowers owes much to improvements in the postal system; that Munch's The Scream was influenced by the Incas; and that Jackson Pollock's paintings were promoted by the CIA. Along the way, we also learn about each artist's life, including the struggles with family, lovers, patrons, and critics.The works featured in this book met with a variety of reactions when first unveiled, and the author details them all, from admiration and respect to horror and contempt. Now readers can judge for themselves. Beautifully illustrated and lucidly written, The Private Life of a Masterpiece offers an innovative and compelling introduction to the extraordinary stories contained in the history of art. It will enthrall all those who wish to know more about this fascinating subject.
This sumptuously illustrated book is a wonderful introduction to the enormous and varied legacy of ancient Egypt. Created to accompany one of the greatest loan exhibitions ever to have been mounted from the collections of the British Museum, Eternal Egypt illustrates the development and achievements of ancient Egyptian art over a period of more than 3,000 years. Almost all of the artifacts have been drawn from the Museum's permanent exhibitions; many are among the finest examples of their kind to have survived from antiquity. Handsomely produced, this book reveals these objects--including sculpture, relief, papyri, hieroglyphic writing, jewelry, painting, cosmetic objects, and items of funerary equipment--as a means of extraordinary artistic expression rather than simply as historical documents. The book and the exhibit, which will travel to eight U.S. cities over the course of three years, provide a remarkable opportunity to explore the creative genius of one of the world's most extraordinary civilizations.
Eternal Egypt features the unique and innovative aspects of art from each period, as well as characteristic styles, forms, and genres. Edna Russmann, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Egyptian art and curator of the exhibition, offers a wide-ranging and authoritative introductory essay that covers archaism, portraiture, and stylistic innovation in Egyptian art. The text also relates the history of the British Museum collection of Egyptian antiquities, showing how these exquisite art works came together. Each piece in the exhibition is given a separate explanatory entry in the book. With its superb color photographs and accessible yet informative text, Eternal Egypt marks a substantial step forward in scholarly understanding of its subject, embodying the results of the very latest research and containing many new and original insights and observations. It will be a must read for anyone with a passion for ancient Egypt.
Published in association with the American Federation of Arts by arrangement with the British Museum Press