Illuminated manuscripts, a photograph of Walt Whitman, and even a lock of Nathaniel Hawthorne's hair: these are just a few of the treasures in the vast collection of books, letters and memorabilia that Isabella Stewart Gardner amassed.
Gift at the Gardner offers an eclectic array of books: from art history to poetry, beautifully bound literary classics and more, start your own literary collection with our featured titles today!
Exploring the convergence of art and science in the map renderings of one of the world’s most beloved artists
Marcel Proust declared View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer (1632–75) “the most beautiful painting in the world.” Indeed, viewers have been captivated by Vermeer's extraordinary art since the 19th-century rediscovery of the Dutch painter. Maps, an intricate fusion of art and science, held an important and multifaceted place in the Netherlands in the 17th century and were of particular interest to Vermeer. Of the approximately 34 paintings attributed to the Delft-based artist, wall maps and other cartographic objects are depicted in nine of them, including the renowned Officer and Laughing Girl and his masterpiece, The Art of Painting. With stunning reproductions and incisive text, this book is the most comprehensive study of the artist's depiction of wall maps to date. Drawing on rare surviving examples of the maps and other primary sources, author Rozemarijn Landsman examines this intriguing aspect of Vermeer’s work, greatly enriching and expanding our understanding of the art and life of the “Sphinx of Delft.”
Edited by Rozemarijn Landsman
Published by DelMonico Books and the Frick Collection, 2022
7 x 0.75 x 10 inches
The latest installment in Wiley’s series imposes the language of old master portraiture onto the ethnicities and ethnic iconography most excluded from Western art.Kehinde Wiley’s acclaimed World Stage series inserts into the language of old master portraiture the very ethnicities and ethnic iconography that western art has most excluded from it, or that western art has portrayed solely in colonial terms. Among the countries and continents he has previously depicted in this ambitious traveling epic are Brazil, Africa, China, India, and Sri Lanka. The rhetoric of Wiley’s paintings is powerful in its compositional candor, color palette, and playfulness with constructions of visual meaning; as Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky) notes, “Wiley’s canvas surfaces are a mirror reflection of America’s unceasing search for new meanings from the ruins of the Old World of Europe and Africa.” This volume includes a selection of new World Stage portraits, focusing on contemporary youth from Jewish-Ethiopian-Israeli, Jewish-Israeli, and Arab-Israeli communities.
Explore the treasures of The Frick Collection through the eyes of a diverse group of contemporary writers, artists and other cultural figures, from George Condo, Lydia Davis and Julie Mehretu to Abbi Jacobson and Edmund White
A cultural haven for museumgoers in New York and beyond, The Frick Collection holds masterpieces by some of the most celebrated artists in the Western tradition―among them Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Whistler―installed in a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue.
This book includes 61 reflections on the Frick’s preeminent collection, with the contributors writing about an artwork that has personal significance, sharing how it has moved, challenged, puzzled or inspired them. Each text is accompanied by an illustration of the artwork. For example, writer Jonathan Lethem tells how he started going to the Frick as a teenager, to gaze at Hans Holbein’s portraits of Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More. Historian Simon Schama revels in Turner’s Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, which reminds him of his own childhood growing up next to the River Thames. This engaging anthology attests to the inspirational power of art and reminds us that there is no one way to look.
Authors include: André Aciman, Ida Applebroog, Firelei Báez, Victoria Beckham, Tom Bianchi, Carter Brey, Rosanne Cash, Jerome Charyn, Roz Chast, George Condo, Gregory Crewdson, Joan K. Davidson, Lydia Davis, Edmund de Waal, Rineke Dijkstra, Mark Doty, Lena Dunham, Stephen Ellcock, Donald Fagen, Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, Teresita Fernández, Bryan Ferry, Michael Frank, Moeko Fujii, Adam Gopnik, Vivian Gornick, Agnes Gund, Carolina Herrera, Alexandra Horowitz, Abbi Jacobson, Bill T. Jones, Maira Kalman, Nina Katchadourian, Susanna Kaysen, Jonathan Lethem, Kate D. Levin, David Masello, Julie Mehretu, Daniel Mendelsohn, Rick Meyerowitz, Duane Michals, Susan Minot, Mark Morris, Nico Muhly, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Catherine Opie, Jed Perl, Taylor M. Polites, Diana Rigg, Jenny Saville, Simon Schama, Lloyd Schwartz, Annabelle Selldorf, Arlene Shechet, Judith Thurman, Colm Tóibín, Chris Ware, Darren Waterston, Edmund White and Robert Wilson.
Published by DelMonico Books/The Frick Collection, 2021
7.25 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
Rarely seen installation works that exemplify this pioneering artist’s critical focus on Black identity and Black feminism
Showcasing a lesser-known aspect of Saar’s art, Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight provides new insights into her explorations of ritual, spirituality, and cosmologies, as well as themes of the African diaspora. Featured here are significant installations created by Saar from 1980 to 1998, including Oasis (1984), a work that will be reconfigured at ICA Miami’s Saar exhibition for the first time in more than 30 years.
With compelling scholarship and rich illustration―combining new installation photography and archival material―the monograph provides a fresh look at this significant artist’s critical and influential practice. Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight reinforces and celebrates Saar’s standing as a visionary artist, storyteller, and mythmaker, and the ongoing significance and relevance of her work to the most pressing issues in America today.
Betye Saar (born 1926) is renowned for pioneering Black feminism and West Coast assemblage in her visionary artistic practice, through dense, complexly referential objects.
Edited by Stephanie Seidel, with foreword by Alex Gartenfeld, contributions by Sampada Aranke and Edwidge Danticat, and interview by Leah Ollman
Published by DelMonico Books/Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. 2022
8.75 x 0.75 x 11 inches
Italian court culture of the fifteenth century was a golden age, gleaming with dazzling princes, splendid surfaces, and luminous images that separated the lords from the (literally) lackluster masses. In Brilliant Bodies, Timothy McCall describes and interprets the Renaissance glitterati—gorgeously dressed and adorned men—to reveal how charismatic bodies, in the palazzo and the piazza, seduced audiences and materialized power.
Fifteenth-century Italian courts put men on display. Here, men were peacocks, attracting attention with scintillating brocades, shining armor, sparkling jewels, and glistening swords, spurs, and sequins. McCall’s investigation of these spectacular masculinities challenges widely held assumptions about appropriate male display and adornment. Interpreting surviving objects, visual representations in a wide range of media, and a diverse array of primary textual sources, McCall argues that Renaissance masculine dress was a political phenomenon that fashioned power and patriarchal authority. Brilliant Bodies describes and recontextualizes the technical construction and cultural meanings of attire, casts a critical eye toward the complex and entangled relations between bodies and clothing, and explores the negotiations among makers, wearers, and materials.
This groundbreaking study of masculinity makes an important intervention in the history of male ornamentation and fashion by examining a period when the public display of splendid men not only supported but also constituted authority. It will appeal to specialists in art history and fashion history as well as scholars working at the intersections of gender and politics in quattrocento Italy.
By Timothy McCall
Published by University Press, 2022
9 x 0.94 x 10 inches
A bold, readable, and beautifully illustrated introduction to Islamic art and architecture, this renowned book is now available in an updated and revised edition featuring color illustrations throughout.
Including over a thousand years of history and stretching from the Atlantic to the borders of India and China, Islamic Art and Architecture is an unparalleled narrative of the arts of Islamic civilization. From the death of the Prophet Muhammad to 1900, Islamic art expert Robert Hillenbrand traces the evolution of an extraordinary range of art forms, including architecture, calligraphy, book illumination, painting, ceramics, glassware, textiles, and metalwork.
This new edition includes a chapter examining art produced from 1700 to 1900, an understudied period in the area, exploring how these centuries saw incredible creativity across the Islamic world. Featuring full-color illustrations of masterpieces of Islamic art and architecture, from seventh-century Arabia via Moorish Spain to modern Iran, this book shows the far-reaching stylistic developments that have shaped Islamic art. Including maps, an updated glossary, and suggested further reading, this authoritative and accessible volume sheds light on the recurrent preoccupations and themes that have shaped the arts of Islam since the seventh century.
By Robert Hillenbrand
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2021
6 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
Click here to return to the 2022 Gift Guide.By Nicole Tersigni
Presenting Kehinde Wiley’s hotly anticipated response to a legendary Gainsborough portrait.
This volume presents A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, a new portrait by Kehinde Wiley (born 1977), commissioned to mark the centennial of the acquisition of Blue Boy by Henry and Arabella Huntington. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens places Wiley's painting in conversation with Thomas Gainsborough's 18th-century masterpiece. A deep connection exists between the museum’s most famous painting and the artist who is known for creating one of the most beloved presidential portraits of our time. A native of Los Angeles, Wiley has often spoken about his childhood visits to the Huntington’s British portrait gallery and how they inspired him to become an artist.
Richly illustrated with portraits by Wiley and by 18th-century masters such as Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Hudson, this book offers insight into the evolving history of portraiture and the representation of power. An essay by Malik Gaines, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, investigates Wiley’s postmodern strategy of inserting Black subjects into canonical European settings. An essay by fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell situates Wiley’s work within the traditions and trappings of 18th-century grand manner portraiture.
By Kehinde Wiley; edited by Melinda McCurdy
Published by The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 2022
7.75 x 0.5 x 10 inches
How the culture of Renaissance Venice shaped Titian’s timeless paintings of women?
A new ideal of feminine beauty arose in 16th-century Venice, as women acquired new rights of inheritance and more social power. As a result, through the writings of poets and humanists, the construction of the desired, beloved woman began to acquire civic significance. The crucial impetus for the visual realization of this ideal came from Venice’s greatest artist: Titian. For him, artistic beauty was identical with female beauty. He was less interested in the canon of exterior beauty than in a woman’s character, in femininity as such. Titian elevates every depiction of a woman into a celebration of womanhood.
This book illustrates the Venetian representation of women in the 16th century, using comparisons between Titian and other painters of his time, such as Sebastiano del Piombo, Lotto, Palma il Vecchio, Paris Bordone, Veronese and Tintoretto. It surveys the various aspects of Late Renaissance female idealization: from realistic portraits to increasingly poetic variations, where female representation reaches its zenith as history, myth and allegory.
This richly illustrated volume also looks at the clothes and coiffures sported by sitters in both real and ideal portraits, and discusses contemporary fashion with its predilection for sumptuous fabrics and costly jewels and pearls.
By Sylvia Ferino-Pagden
Published by Skira, 2022
An authoritative introduction to Raphael, one of the most influential painters in the history of art, written by the preeminent authority on the subject and informed by the latest research.
For centuries, Raphael has been recognized as the supreme High Renaissance painter, with many considering him more versatile than Michelangelo and more prolific than his older contemporary Leonardo da Vinci. Though he died young at thirty-seven, Raphael’s example as a paragon of classicism dominated the academic tradition of European painting until the mid-nineteenth century.
This comprehensive survey looks at the different social and regional contexts of Raphael’s work and all aspects of his artistic production. From early training in Urbino to travels across central Italy, particularly Florence, where he became a noted portraitist and painter of Madonnas, to engagement by the papal court, this volume covers all areas of the artist’s practice. Focus is also devoted to the second half of Raphael’s career, when he became the dominant artist in Rome―even ahead of Michelangelo―and as a sophisticate entrepreneur, was able to extend the range of his activities to that of architect, designer, pioneer archaeologist, and theoretician.
A beautifully illustrated study with over 150 full-color reproductions of Raphael’s work, ranging from major masterpieces to lesser-known paintings and drawings from all periods; art historian Paul Joannides, one of the world’s leading experts on Raphael’s drawings, sheds new light on this seminal artist.
By Paul Joannides
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
6 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
This intelligently revised volume on the life and work of Rembrandt offers detailed insight into the artist from an authority on the subject.
Rembrandt is among the few old masters to retain universal appeal among art lovers today. His striking self-portraits and scenes are on view at museums around the world—yet he remains an elusive, enigmatic figure.
In Rembrandt, distinguished art historian Christopher White carefully considers Rembrandt’s history to build a sensitive and thorough account of the artist’s life and work. White describes the radiant happiness of Rembrandt’s marriage, tragically cut short by the death of his wife, and discusses the catastrophe of his bankruptcy. Digging deeper, White also explores the psychological factors that may have awakened Rembrandt’s sudden interest in landscape and examines the artist’s final decade, when he retreated into the private world of his imagination.
This comprehensive introduction is revised and updated to include recent scholarship and features an expanded bibliography. In this stunning new edition, Rembrandt’s artworks are now faithfully reproduced in color throughout.
By Christopher White
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
This richly illustrated book provides the visual keys for any art lover to decode and understand the iconography, tenets, sites, and rituals of the Catholic faith through accessible analysis of its visual and material culture
Focusing on a carefully curated selection of Catholic art and artifacts, this volume explores the influence of iconography and the mystic power of a range of ritual objects. Expert Suzanna Ivanic identifies hidden visual symbols in paintings and examines them close-up, building a catalog of key symbols for readers to use to interpret Catholic art and culture.
Catholica is organized into three sections―”Tenet,” “Locus,” and “Spiritus”―each with three themed subdivisions. Part one introduces the centerpieces of the faith, surveying symbolism in the artistic representation of the holy family, apostles, and saints in stories from scripture. The second part examines places of worship, identifying the essential elements of the cathedral and presenting evocative images of roadside shrines. The third part explores celebrations and traditions, in addition to personal devotional tools and jewelry.
For each of the nine central themes of the faith, introductory text is followed by pages that look in-depth at paintings and artifacts, identifying and explaining the symbolism and stories depicted. As the book progresses, readers build up their knowledge of the entire Catholic visual code―the symbols that define Catholic practice, the attributes of the saints, the parts of the cathedral―allowing them to interpret all Catholic imagery and objects wherever they find them and consequently to better understand the tenets, sites, and rituals of this faith.
By Suzanna Ivanic
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
7 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
Thoroughly user-friendly and covering a broad historical sweep, this book is a reference guide to fifty of the most frequently occurring symbols in global art history.
Iconography, or the study of symbols―be they animals, artifacts, plants, geometric shapes, or gestures―is an essential aspect of interpreting art. One of the most consistent features of human society throughout time has been the use of visual symbols, which often act as substitutions for the written word, crossing dialects and borders and uniting understandings of the world through a shared language. Incorporating and analyzing a wealth of cultures, Symbols in Art serves as a reference guide to fifty of the most frequently occurring symbols in global art history from 2300 BCE to the present day, exploring their subtle implications and covert meanings.
Entries devoted to specific symbols expose nuances of meaning and historical use, from easily identifiable symbols across the globe to those used to speak to specific cultural groups. This book exposes such intriguing correspondences as the symbolism of grapevines in a fifteenth-century painting by Giovanni Bellini compared to the images in Yinka Shonibare’s Last Supper. Complete with a user-friendly glossary of symbols and a well-selected array of illustrations, this book illuminates common and thought-provoking symbols in art across history and the globe, functioning as an indispensable tool for interpretation.
By Matthew Wilson
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
5.5 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
Susan Herbert's feline versions of famous paintings have found an appreciative audience among both cat and art lovers. Here, she brings her charming illustrations of cats to the subject of Pre-Raphaelite painting.
Well-known works by such artists as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Holman Hunt can be viewed in a new and entrancing way when their protagonists are endearing cats. The Beggar Maid takes on a particularly touching relationship with King Cophetua, while Medea gives new meaning to the word enchantress as she prepares the ingredients for a spell. Were ever two creatures so frightened and so abandoned as the poor cat princes wickedly imprisoned in the tower or two lovers as sad and stoical as the young officer cat and his fiancée on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo?
With black-and-white reproductions of the original paintings that inspired these illustrations, the book offers irresistibly delightful comparisons to a great period in art history.
By Susan Herbert
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2014
7.6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
A clear and concise overview of the fundamentals shared by visual arts across the globe, enabling the reader to think carefully, inquisitively, and critically about art.
The visual arts enrich our lives in so many ways, presenting beauty, emotion, and ideas―but sometimes looking at art is confusing and challenging. This new volume in the Art Essentials series, How to Understand Art, sets out to enhance the viewer’s experience by breaking down the elements of art to provide a firm basis for simple enjoyment as well as further understanding.
With one hundred visual examples drawn from across the globe, the emphasis is on how to assess art objectively―a key skill for any art student, museum visitor, or cultural enthusiast. Art historian and museum lecturer Janetta Rebold Benton teaches the reader to reevaluate their experiences of looking at art by learning to move beyond “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like,” toward an understanding of “why I like it.”
By looking at artists’ materials and techniques, such as drawing, painting, printing, photography, sculpture, and decorative art, Benton makes it possible to assess what can (and cannot) be done in certain media. With these tools at hand, it’s possible to break down any work of art. Further framing the lesson, there is a section devoted to six key artists that have had a particularly notable and innovative influence on the history of art. Perfectly aimed at students and the general reader, this indispensable guide encourages everyone to develop confidence in experiencing, analyzing, and appreciating art.
By Janetta Rebold Benton
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2021
5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
A fascinating and accessible introduction to the art of ancient Greece and Rome. For everyone from casual museumgoers to students.
For more than two thousand years the art of Greece and Rome has been hugely influential throughout the Western world. This book recaptures the passion and inspiration that first drove ancient artists to create the art that continues to captivate us to this day. It traces the daring innovations of those who, defying traditional wisdom, explored new ideas; it describes the noble struggles of sculptors and painters to portray both the complexities of the human form and the richness of human emotions.
In Greek and Roman Art, classical art expert Susan Woodford illuminates the achievements of classical art and architecture in a concise, coherent breakdown of styles from Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire. Intelligent, clear, and compelling, this indispensable guide gives readers all the information they need to approach ancient art with confidence.
By Susan Woodford
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
A lavish new investigation into the Paris Opera’s influence on Edgar Degas's painting.
From his debut in the 1860s up to his final works after 1900, the Paris Opera formed a focal point of Edgar Degas's paintings. He explored the theater's various spaces―auditorium and stage, private boxes, foyers, and dance studios―and painted those who frequented them: dancers, singers, orchestral musicians, audience members, and subscribers watching from the wings. This theater presented a microcosm of infinite possibilities, allowing him to experiment with multiple points of view, contrasting lighting, motion, and the precision of movement.
This catalog, created in concert with an exhibition at the Muse´e d'Orsay in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, considers the Paris Opera’s influence on Degas as a whole, examining not only his passionate relationship with the house and his musical tastes, but also the infinite resources of the opera's marvelous toolbox. Filled with striking reproductions of Degas’s work and including insightful essays by leading curators and scholars, Degas at the Opera offers admission into the world of Degas and the Paris Opera of the nineteenth century.
By Henri Loyrette
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
10.1 x 1.4 x 12 inches
Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, written in 1550 and 1568, is a classic text of cultural history. This monumental assembly of artists’ lives from Giotto to Michelangelo paints a vivid picture of the progression of art in the hands of individual masters.
This illustrated stand-alone edition of Vasari’s Life of Raphael offers a new translation of this rich and remarkable life, elegantly rendering Vasari’s literary text in modern terms. A work of authoritative skill and precision, this new translation preserves Vasari’s exciting narrative, alongside beautifully reproduced color illustrations. Editors Paul Joannides and Rick Scorza bring together the original and expanded Italian editions from 1550 and 1568 with succinct commentary drawing upon their expert knowledge of Raphael’s career. This fascinating and accessible read is published in the five hundredth anniversary year of Raphael’s death.
By Paul Joannides and Rick Scorza
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
5.7 x 7.7 in
An in-depth guide to Venetian culture and history through its houses of worship
Begun in 2014 by Ecuadorian-born, New York–based photographer Alejandro Merizalde (born 1979), 100 Churches of Venice and the Lagoon documents religious temples from every sestiere of Venice and the smaller towns of the Venetian lagoon. What began as a small challenge of photographing just the Grand Canal’s churches quickly grew in scope to include every neighborhood in the city. From Murano to Burano and Torcello, from Pellestrina to Chioggia, and deep into the northern lagoon to areas such as Lio Piccolo and Treporti, Merizalde photographed their respective churches whether they remained in service or were deconsecrated or repurposed. The layout of these images emphasizes the facade, relying on subtle repetitions for aesthetic continuity and balance. An essay by Marina Gasparini Lagrange combines her experience living in Venice with a poignant historical perspective.
By Alejandro Merizalde with contributions by Marina Gasparini Lagrange
Published by Damiani, 2021
9.06 x 9.06 inches
In this primer accompanying Adam Pendleton’s MoMA show, the artist behind “Black Dada” fuses musical counterpoint with the aesthetics of protest
Adam Pendleton draws on visual culture and historical archives to explore the ways in which context influences meaning. Referencing a broad range of artistic and cultural currents―including Dada, Minimalism and Black Power―Pendleton reconfigures words, forms and images to provoke critical questioning.
Published to accompany Pendleton's installation at the Museum of Modern Art, this reader serves as a primer and handbook to the exhibition and features a number of photocopied textual and visual sources, many of which directly relate to the concept, content and programming of the exhibition. The project questions the notion of the museum as repository and addresses the influence that mass movements, including those of the last decade such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy, could have on the exhibition as form. Drawing on the work of figures as disparate as Glenn Gould, Michael Hardt and Ruby Sales, Who Is Queen? seeks to explore the nexus of abstraction and politics.
Edited by Alec Mapes-Frances with introduction by Stuart Comer, and contributions by Adrienne Edwards, Mario Gooden, Danielle A. Jackson, Lynne Tillman
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2021
The sequel to Pendleton's acclaimed Black Dada Reader, compiling an anti-canon of radical experimentation and thought
In 2011, artist Adam Pendleton (born 1984) assembled Black Dada Reader, a compendium of texts, documents and positions that elucidated a practice and ethos of "Black Dada." Resembling a school course reader, the book was a spiral-bound series of photocopies and collages, originally intended only for personal reference, and eventually distributed informally to friends and colleagues. The contents―an unlikely mix of Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Adrian Piper, Gertrude Stein, Sun Ra, Stokely Carmichael, Gilles Deleuze―formed a kind of experimental canon, realized through what Pendleton calls "radical juxtaposition."
By Thomas Hirschhorn, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Joan Jonas Lorraine O'Grady, and Joan Retallack
Published by DABA/Koenig Books, 2021
8.03 x 1.81 x 10.63 inches
An artist's book exploring the language of protest
A new artist's book by Adam Pendleton (born 1984), As Heavy as Sculpture follows Pendleton's 2021 installation of the same title, exhibited at the New Museum in New York. The book collects, repeats and processes over 80 source collages, incorporating drawings, sketches, writing and marks, often in combination with images.
Much of the language in the collages is drawn from the protests against police brutality that swept the US in 2020: Pendleton has transcribed slogans sprayed on walls and windows, combining them with his own improvised language as well as photographs of art objects and artifacts (sculptures, masks and figures). The work points to the poetic pressure that uprisings place on language itself, compressing it in some cases into the barest of forms: simple sequences like “ACAB” or “1312,” further reducible to the elements “A, B, C,” “1, 2, 3.”
In parallel with these operations of decomposition and recomposition, the collages in As Heavy as Sculpture have been duplicated, laid out across 30 sheets and folded into book signatures, creating new displacements and cuts. This folding is in effect a chance operation, a procedure of recombination and translation, resulting in arrangements of images not planned out in advance.
By Adam Pendleton
Published by D.A.P., 2021
6.5 x 8.74 inches
This absorbing book explores the crown jewel of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s collection of rare books and manuscripts: Jean Bourdichon’s Boston Hours. As court artist to King François I of France, Bourdichon produced paintings, books and even parade floats for the sovereign and his entourage. This publication accompanies the museum’s first ever exhibition dedicated to this spectacular illuminated manuscript.
Painter to two kings, Jean Bourdichon remains today one of the most celebrated artists of the French Renaissance. By age twenty-four, he was already serving as “peintre du roy,” a title which Bourdichon held for the rest of his life. His illustrious career at the French royal court led to a wide range of commissions—from portraits to wall maps to stained glass—but he is remembered principally for astonishing illuminated manuscripts. The peerless Grandes Heures for Queen Anne of Brittany remains the touchstone of this group which includes some of the most lavishly painted books of hours ever produced.
One of these masterpieces—Bourdichon’s Boston Hours—in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the subject of this book. Bourdichon’s only intact book of hours in the United States was acquired by Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1890 and became the crown jewel of her collection of rare books and manuscripts. Leading scholars Nicholas Herman and Anne-Marie Eze explore its history in depth, shedding new light on the book’s patronage and provenance—from the shelves of a wealthy Catholic landowner in Lincolnshire to the shop of a Venetian art and antiques dealer.
This book is the latest in the Gardner’s Close Up series, each installment focusing on an individual, outstanding work of art in the collection. This publication is the first dedicated to this rare treasure, and precedes an exhibition opening in summer 2022.
At the end of his long, prolific life, Titian was rumored to paint directly on the canvas with his bare hands. He would slide his fingers across bright ridges of oil paint, loosening the colors, blending, blurring, and then bringing them together again. With nothing more than the stroke of a thumb or the flick of a nail, Titian’s touch brought the world to life. The clinking of glasses, the clanging of swords, and the cry of a woman’s grief. The sensation of hair brushing up against naked flesh, the sudden blush of unplanned desire, and the dry taste of fear in a lost, shadowy place.
Titian’s art, Maria H. Loh argues in this exquisitely illustrated book, was and is a synesthetic experience. To see is at once to hear, to smell, to taste, and to touch. But while Titian was fully attached to the world around him, he also held the universe in his hands. Like a magician, he could conjure appearances out of thin air. Like a philosopher, his exploration into the very nature of things channeled and challenged the controversial ideas of his day. But as a painter, he created the world anew. Dogs, babies, rubies, and pearls. Falcons, flowers, gloves, and stone. Shepherds, mothers, gods, and men. Paint, canvas, blood, sweat, and tears. In a series of close visual investigations, Loh guides us through the lush, vibrant world of Titian’s touch.
Portraits from an important Belgian collection, most of which have never before been published
Men in stately black, women with huge ruffs, children with golden rattles, old women with wizened faces, and self-satisfied artists... These are the main players in just about every portrait ever painted in the Southern Netherlands. From the15th to the 17th centuries, the tract of land that we today call Flanders was the economic, cultural, intellectual and financial heart of Europe. And money flows - with everyone who could afford it investing in a portrait.
Today, these cherished status symbols of the past have largely lost their original significance. But beyond their functional and emotional aspects, these portraits turn their subjects into gateways to the past. This book takes masterpieces from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation and outlines the broad context in which they came into being, peeling back levels of meaning like the layers of an onion. Whether captured in an impressive Rubens or Van Dyck, or an intimate portrait by a forgotten artist, the persons portrayed were once flesh and blood, each with their own peculiarities, hidden agendas and ambitions. Some portraits are very personal and hyper-individual. Others are a little dusty, the ladies and gentleman being children of their time. In most cases, however, their dreams and aspirations are surprisingly timeless and soberingly recognizable.
The Bold and the Beautiful is an appointment with history: a meeting through portraiture with men and women from bygone centuries. But for those willing to look closely, the border between the present and the past is paper-thin.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Blind Date. Portretten met blikken en blozen, Autumn 2020, in Snijders & Rockoxhuis Antwerp, curated by Dr. Katharina Van Cauteren & Hildegard Van de Velde with a scenography by Walter Van Beirendonck.
Rembrandt seems to have been an artist who took little notice of other people. Yet he had a family, friends and acquaintances who helped him, bought his art, lent him money, challenged him artistically and inspired him. He would never have become such a great artist without his social network. This book explores that network: Rembrandt's early friends, family members ('blood friends'), artist friends, the connoisseurs who supported him and his friends in times of need. As a friend, Rembrandt went his own way. He made little effort to get on with the elite, and preferred to surround himself with people who understood art. He had strong ties with them, as he did with the members of his family. He portrayed them in remarkably informal paintings and prints, works that bring Rembrandt's private world to life.Written by Epco Runia and David de Witt