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Paperback Art of the Portrait (Big) Book

ISBN: 3822896519

ISBN13: 9783822896518

Art of the Portrait (Big)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The Art of the Portrait focuses on about a 200-year period, from the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance, during which the genre of painted portraiture flourished. For the first time since classical...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Good book

This is a good book. Lots of photos, which is the alpha and omeaga of art books. The only thing I would have changed is the selection. A bit broader. Not my fav. art book, but not my least fav. either. It is good to have as a reference.

One of Norbert Schneider's finest books

THE ART OF THE PORTRAIT gives further stature to the quality of research and writing of art historian Norbert Schneider. In this beautifully illustrated volume he not only explores the idiosyncrasies of portraiture in general, enlightening us as to the vagaries of time and social custom influencing the painters presented here, but he also presents highly entertaining and educational comparisons of the ways different artists have presented the portrait of a similar subject. Example: In presenting Rembrandt's 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp' he offers a full image of the painting along with well chosen details, then contrasts this famous medical experience with a woodcut from Johannes de Ketham (1493) of an anatomy section, a reference to Mantegna's 'The Dead Christ', Gerard David's 'The Flaying of Corrupt Judge Sisamnes' (1499), and with Rembrandt's own later 'The Anatomy Class of Dr. Joan Deyman'. We are introduced to the diagonal penchant of composition of Holbein, the demand for group portraiture as in the examples of paintings as familiar as Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch', with those less famous commissions by Franz Hals, Thomas de Keyser, and Cornelis Anthonisz. Preoccupation with self portraiture is studied with a wonderful sense of humor, and the idiosycrasies of Velazquez's preoccupation with dwarfs, and Arcimboldo's with vegetables and fruits as building blocks for his portraits provide insights that are refreshing. There are discoveries for the novice art lover of the wondrous works of Lorenzo Lotto and Agnolo Bronzino and Quentin Massys as well as re-visits to the more famous da Vinci, Titian, etc. In all, a treasure house of images and information!

Every Portrait Tells A Story

This is another solid entry in the Taschen line of well done and reasonably priced art books. It is also another wonderful job by Norbert Schneider. (Please see my review of his book "Still Life".) The book covers the 15th through the 17th centuries and contains many full page color reproductions. There are also many smaller reproductions of details from the portraits being shown and of other paintings which may have been an inspiration to the artist in question. There are also some very effective full page black and white closeups of the faces of some of the sitters. When you look at these black and white reproductions you can really get a good luck at the fine attention to detail and in many cases the brushwork is so smooth that you could swear you are looking at a photograph rather than a painting. Mr. Schneider starts off the book with a brief introduction to the historical development of the portrait and the changing goals of the artist and the patron. This section is only about 30 pages but also contains many examples relating to what the author is talking about. The rest of the book focuses on color plates of particular portraits and is accompanied by Mr. Schneider's descriptions of the paintings including explanations of the symbolic meanings of pieces of clothing and items of jewelry worn by the sitters; what the sitters wanted to show to the viewer by commissioning the portrait-e.g.-demonstrating their wealth or power or intellectual achievements, etc.. Mr. Schneider also gives interesting little biographical tidbits about the artists and the patrons. His writing style is to the point but not dry. Works by such artists as Da Vinci, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Titian, Raphael, etc. are included but also works by lesser known artists, so even if you know a lot about art you will be able to learn something and be entertained by this book. Highly recommended and a great bargain at the price!
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