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500 years after the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, Ben Lewis considers the unrivalled legacy of his art through an original biography of the `Salvator Mundi' (Saviour of the World) - the lost Da Vinci painting. In 2017, Leonardo da Vinci's small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for $450m. In the words of its discoverer, the image of Christ as saviour of the world is `the rarest thing on the planet by the greatest human being who ever lived'. Its dazzling price also makes it the world's most expensive painting. For two centuries art dealers had searched in vain for the Holy Grail of art history: a portrait of Christ as the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Many similar paintings of greatly varying quality had been executed by Leonardo's assistants in the first half of the sixteenth century. But where was the original by the master himself? In November 2017, Christie's auction house announced they had it. But did they? The Last Leonardo tells a thrilling tale of a spellbinding icon invested with the power to make or break the reputations of scholars, billionaires, kings and sheikhs. Lewis takes us to Leonardo's studio in Renaissance Italy; to the court of Charles I and the English Civil War; to Holland, Moscow and Louisiana; to the galleries, salerooms and restorer's workshop as the painting slowly, painstakingly, emerged from obscurity. The vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market are charted across five centuries. It is a twisting tale of geniuses and oligarchs, double-crossings and disappearances, where we're never quite certain what to believe. Above all, it is an adventure story about the search for lost treasure, and a quest for the truth.
During the Renaissance, artists and illustrators developed the representation of truthful three-dimensional forms into a highly skilled art. As reliable illustrations of three-dimensional subjects became more prevalent, they also influenced the way in which disciplines developed: architecture could be communicated much more clearly, mathematical concepts and astronomical observations could be quickly relayed, observations of the natural world moved towards a more realistic method of depiction. Through essays on some of the world's greatest artists and thinkers (Leonardo da Vinci, Euclid, Andreas Vesalius, William Hunter, Johannes Kepler, Andrea Palladio, Galileo Galilei, among many others), this book tells the story of the development of the techniques used to communicate three-dimensional forms on the two-dimensional page and contemporary media. It features Leonardo da Vinci's groundbreaking drawings in his notebooks and other manuscripts, extraordinary anatomical illustrations, early paper engineering including volvelles and tabs, beautiful architectural plans and even views of the moon. With in-depth analysis of over forty manuscripts and books, 'Thinking 3D' also reveals the impact that developing techniques had on artists and draughtsmen throughout time and across space.
A fascinating new history of art, this gloriously illustrated book reveals how materials, techniques, and ideas have evolved over the centuries, inspiring artists to create their most celebrated works. Covering a comprehensive array of topics, from the first pigments and frescos to linear perspective in Renaissance paintings, the influence of photography, Impressionism, and the birth of modern art, The Story of Painting follows each step in the evolution of painting over the last 25,000 years, from the first cave paintings to the abstract works of the last 100 years. Packed with lavish colour reproductions of paintings and photographs of artists at work and the materials they used, it also focuses on key paintings from each period to analyse the techniques and secrets of the great masters in detail. Immerse yourself in the pages of this beautiful book and find yourself dazzled by new colours; marvel at the magic of perspective; wonder at glowing depictions of fabric and flesh; understand cubism; and embrace abstraction. It will transform your understanding and enjoyment of paintings forever.
The Hamburg banker's son Aby Warburg (1866-1929) was one of the most influential art historians and cultural theorists of the 20th century. His life's work was devoted to tracing antique formulas of representation in the depiction of human passions in Renaissance art. For this epoch-spanning relationship, he developed the term `pathos formula' (Pathosformel). In a lecture given in 1905 in the Konzerthaus in Hamburg, focusing on the young Albrecht Durer's Death of Orpheus, Warburg outlined his thoughts in front of the original drawing, which he had borrowed from the rich holdings of the Kunsthalle in order to better illustrate his idea. This drawing, pivotal in the young artist's development as an ambitious response to classical antiquity, was displayed during the lecture alongside a group of engravings and woodcuts which included not only some of Durer's own seminal later prints, such as Melencolia I, but also engravings by Andrea Mantegna which Durer copied in 1494, the same year he drew the Death of Orpheus. Warburg's `pop-up exhibition' of eleven works has here been reconstructed and analyzed, using his fascinating lecture notes, sketches and slide lists. First developed by the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 2011, subsequently on view in Cologne in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and now at The Courtauld Gallery, each institution has interpreted the material slightly differently, while retaining the core Warburg group. Aby Warburg aimed at unlocking the meaning of an art work by excavating its roots in its cultural context. By restaging his legendary display of 1905 with Durer's Death of Orpheus at its heart, the exhibition and accompanying book present some of the most skillful and ambitious works on paper ever produced and also seek to introduce into Warburg's rich intellectual universe to a broader public, hoping thereby to offer both sheer enjoyment and food for thought.
Embark on a grand tour of art history with this guide to the story of art, and the big ideas and themes behind the world's most important artistic movements, artworks, and artists. The Art Book explores the more than 80 of the world's most groundbreaking artworks by history's most influential painters, sculptors, and artists with stunning visuals and insightful quotations. Discover key artworks and artists from across the globe, stretching from the prehistoric Altamira cave paintings and Chinese jade carvings to more impressionism, symbolism, cubism, and pop art. Understand the ideas that inspired masterpieces by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Klimt, Matisse, Picasso, and dozens more, with The Art Book's fascinating overview of painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, conceptual art, and performance art, from ancient history to the modern day.
Leonardo da Vinci was the original Renaissance Man: an artist, mathematician, inventor and writer amongst his many talents. This calendar brings together 12 of his drawings which display not only his skilful observation, but also an elegance, with the gentle features of his subjects graced with unrivalled eloquence. Informative text accompanies each work and the datepad features previous and next month's views. Created by Flame Tree Studio - The Art of Fine Gifts.
`Kemp is a natural storyteller... This book leads you on a journey through the life, work and legacy of one of history's most intriguing figures.' The Times In an engaging personal narrative interwoven with historical research, Martin Kemp discusses a life spent immersed in the world of Leonardo, and his encounters with great and lesser academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, major scholars and authors, pseudo-historians and fantasists. He shares how he has grappled with swelling legions of `Leonardo loonies', walked on the eggshells of vested interests in academia and museums, and fended off fusillades of non-Leonardos, sometimes more than one a week. Examining the greatest masterpieces, from the Last Supper to Salvator Mundi, through the expert's eye, we learn first-hand of the thorny questions that surround attribution, the scientific analyses that support the experts' interpretations, and the continuing importance of connoisseurship. Throughout, from the most scholarly interpretations to the popularity of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, we are reminded of Leonardo's unique genius and wonder at how an artist from 500 years ago continues to make such compelling posthumous demands on all those who engage with him.
Leonardo's greatest work of science beautifully reproduced for the 500th anniversary of his death. This edition offers a high-quality facsimile reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester, a collection of his scientific writings. Named after Thomas Coke (later Earl of Leicester) who purchased it in 1719, Codex Leicester holds the record as the most expensive book ever when it was bought by Bill Gates in 1994. Consisting of 72 pages, it was handwritten in Italian by Leonardo using his characteristic mirror writing, and is supported by drawings and diagrams. The Codex Leicester is an extraordinary mixture of Leonardo's observations and theories. Topics include his explanation of why fossils can be found on mountains; the flow of water in rivers; and the luminosity of the moon which Leonardo attributed to its surface being covered by water which reflects light from the sun. The facsimile reproduction is complemented by three further volumes that include a new transcription and translation, accompanied by a paraphrase in modern language, a page-by-page commentary, and a series of interpretative essays. These four volumes together introduce important new research into the interpretation of the texts and images, on the setting of Leonardo's ideas in the context of ancient and medieval theories, and above all into the notable fortunes of the Codex within the sciences of astronomy, water, and the history of the earth, opening a new field of research into the impact of Leonardo as a scientist after his death.
'In this painting of Leonardo's there was a smile so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human.' Often called "the first art historian", Vasari writes with delight on the lives of Leonardo and other celebrated Renaissance artists . Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574). Vasari's works available in Penguin Classics are Lives of the Artists Volume I and Volume II.
Hieronymus Bosch lived and worked over 500 hundred years ago in the Netherlands' town of Hertogenbosch, from which he takes his name. He is best known for his fantastical, wondrous art full of strange creatures - both grotesque and heavenly. The work he has left behind still defies the imagination. This calendar portrays 12 of his complex, impressive and debauched artworks. Informative text accompanies each work and the datepad features previous and next month's views.
Originally published in Dutch and translated to Spanish for the fourth centenary celebration of the death of El Greco in 2014, this book is a comprehensive study of the rediscovery of El Greco -- seen as one of the most important events of its kind in art history. The Nationalization of Culture versus the Rise of Modern Art analyses how changes in artistic taste in the second half of the nineteenth century caused a profound revision of the place of El Greco in the artistic canon. As a result, El Greco was transformed from an extravagant outsider and a secondary painter into the founder of the Spanish School and one of the principle predecessors of modern art, increasingly related to that of the Impressionists -- due primarily to the German critic Julius Meier-Graefe's influential History of Modern Art (1914). This shift in artistic preference has been attributed to the rise of modern art but Eric Storm, a cultural historian, shows that in the case of El Greco nationalist motives were even more important. This study examines the work of painters, art critics, writers, scholars and philosophers from France, Germany and Spain, and the role of exhibitions, auctions, monuments and commemorations. Paintings and associated anecdotes are discussed, and historical debates such as El Greco's supposed astigmatism are addressed in a highly readable and engaging style. This book will be of interest to both specialists and the interested art public.
The religious turmoil of the sixteenth century constituted a turning point in the history of Western Christian art. The essays presented in this volume investigate the ways in which both Protestant and Catholic reform stimulated the production of religious images, drawing on examples from across Europe and beyond. * Eight essays by leading scholars in the field * Brings art historians and historians into productive dialogue * Broad chronology, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century * Broad geographical coverage * Richly illustrated
Part of a series of exciting and luxurious Flame Tree Notebooks. Combining high-quality production with magnificent fine art, the covers are printed on foil in five colours, embossed then foil stamped. And they're powerfully practical: a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps, two bookmarks and a solid magnetic side flap. These are perfect for personal use and make a dazzling gift. This example is based on 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Vermeer.
A never-before-seen presentation of art and architecture from the Renaissance era, in elegant, informative, and engaging three-dimensional form. Accompanied by stunning art and ingenious pop engineering, Renaissance Art Pop-Up Book presents the talent and imagination of some of the most influential artists in history. Ranging from the influences of Gothic art on the early Renaissance to the culmination of High Renaissance, this book follows the appearance of new forms in religious and secular painting and the burgeoning use of groundbreaking techniques, such as perspective and narrative in painting; new innovations in architecture; and the unique genius of artists from all over Europe. The book features the most outstanding artists, art, and architecture of the period, including the frescoes of Giotto, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, and the works of Caravaggio, Botticelli, Titian, Durer, and Massacio, to name only a few. Innovative pop-ups include a working camera obscura; da Vinci's -flying machine-; Piero della Francesca's View of the Ideal City, with removable perspective lines; Brunelleschi's majestic Duomo in Florence; and a fold-out timeline of the Renaissance. Showcasing the artistic innovations of the era in interactive format, this book gives the reader a fresh perspective, thereby teaching the principles and history of the Renaissance in a new and unique way. Renaissance Art Pop-Up Book is a superb tour of the greatest achievements of the world's early masters, and is the perfect educational gift for art lovers of all ages.
An authoritative history of art history from its medieval origins to its modern predicaments In this wide-ranging and authoritative book, the first of its kind in English, Christopher Wood tracks the evolution of the historical study of art from the late middle ages through the rise of the modern scholarly discipline of art history. Synthesizing and assessing a vast array of writings, episodes, and personalities, this original and accessible account of the development of art-historical thinking will appeal to readers both inside and outside the discipline. The book shows that the pioneering chroniclers of the Italian Renaissance "Lorenzo Ghiberti and Giorgio Vasari "measured every epoch against fixed standards of quality. Only in the Romantic era did art historians discover the virtues of medieval art, anticipating the relativism of the nineteenth century, when art history learned to admire the art of all societies and to value every work as an index of its times. The major art historians of the modern era, however "Jacob Burckhardt, Aby Warburg, Heinrich Wo ^lfflin, Erwin Panofsky, Meyer Schapiro, and Ernst Gombrich "struggled to adapt their work to the rupture of artistic modernism, leading to the current predicaments of the discipline. Combining erudition with clarity, this book makes a landmark contribution to the understanding of art history.
At the turn of the fifteenth century, private devotionals became a speciality of the renowned Ghent-Bruges illuminators. Wealthy patrons who commissioned work from these artists often spared no expense in the presentation of their personal prayer books, or `books of hours', from detailed decoration to luxurious bindings and embroidery. This enchanting illuminated manuscript was painted by the Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary (known as the David Master), one of the renowned Flemish illuminators in the sixteenth century. Every page of the manuscript is exquisitely decorated. Fine architectural interiors, gorgeous landscapes and detailed city scenes, each one depicting a narrative, form the subjects of three full-size illuminations and forty-two full-page miniatures. There are floral borders on a gold ground or historiated borders in the Flemish and Italian style on every page. It is one of the finest examples of medieval illumination in a personal prayer book and the most copiously illustrated work of the David Master to survive. The manuscript owes its name to the French Queen, Marie de Medici, widow of King Henri IV. For a time she went into exile in Brussels, where she is thought to have acquired the manuscript before moving again to Cologne. An inscription in English states that she left the book of hours in this city, and it is here that an English manuscript collector, Francis Douce, may have acquired the book and eventually donated it to the Bodleian Library. Together with a scholarly introduction that gives an overview of Flemish illumination and examines each of the illustrations in detail, this full-colour facsimile limited edition, bound in linen with a leather quarter binding and beautifully presented in a slipcase, faithfully reproduces all 176 leaves of the original manuscript.
Part of a series of exciting and luxurious Flame Tree Notebooks. Combining high-quality production with magnificent fine art, the covers are printed on foil in five colours, embossed then foil stamped. And they're powerfully practical: a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps, two bookmarks and a solid magnetic side flap. These are perfect for personal use and make a dazzling gift. This example is based on Leonardo da Vinci's 'Detail of the Head of the Virgin'.
When the Aztec Empire emerged to dominate central Mexico from 1460
to 1519, vast amounts of tribute wealth flowed into the capital
city of Tenochtitlan, enabling artists and architects to create
sophisticated works on a monumental scale. Confronting a
civilization without precedent, some Spanish conquistadors and
missionaries looked to the classical past for explanations and
parallels were drawn between two great empires--the Aztec and the
When Flemish engraver and publisher Theodore de Bry issued the first volume of his America series in 1590, the New World was, for most Europeans, truly novel. Gleaned from the travel accounts of adventurers like Thomas Harriot and Sir Walter Raleigh, De Bry's magnificent engravings brought the new continent and its inhabitants to an enraptured audience across the Atlantic. From "Virginia" (today's North Carolina) and Florida through Central America and down into Patagonia, the first nine volumes of America depict scenery and encounters between native Americans and Europeans, revealing the latter's perceptions of the former. Portrayals of European discovery and native American customs were based on the explorers' reports as well as De Bry's own imagination, he himself never having traveled to the New World. Although based in Frankfurt, De Bry laid the foundations of the series while in London, collaborating with artists John White and Jacques Le Moyne, whose original watercolors he adapted for the opening two volumes. With his sons, De Bry formed a family enterprise known for exquisite copper engravings and high-quality illustrations unrivaled in their mastery. The legacy of America is profound, coloring Europe's earliest visions of the Atlantic world. Countless European illustrations would, throughout the following centuries, draw inspiration from the spectacular collection. TASCHEN's edition pays homage to De Bry's finesse, reprinting all 218 plates from the first nine volumes alongside their respective frontispieces and continental maps. Volumes I to VI are based on the original hand-colored editions held at the John Hay and John Carter Brown Libraries at Brown University in Providence; volumes VII to IX are from the Staats- und Stadtbibliothek in Augsburg, Germany.Exceptionally rare even at the time of their completion, De Bry's hand-colored America can finally be admired by all, in XXL resolution.
This major new biography recounts the extraordinary life of one of
the most creative figures in Western culture, weaving together the
multiple threads of Michelangelo's life and times with a brilliant
analysis of his greatest works. The author retraces Michelangelo's
journey from Rome to Florence, explores his changing religious
views and examines the complicated politics of patronage in
Renaissance Italy. The psychological portrait of Michelangelo is
constantly foregrounded, depicting with great conviction a
tormented man, solitary and avaricious, burdened with repressed
homosexuality and a surplus of creative enthusiasm. Michelangelo's
acts of self-representation and his pivotal role in constructing
his own myth are compellingly unveiled.
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