The Art of the Portrait (Masterpieces of European Portrait Painting 1420-1670)

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9783822865224: The Art of the Portrait (Masterpieces of European Portrait Painting 1420-1670)
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This work sets out to analyze some of the major works of early modern portraiture and takes a close look at 50 major works, including paintings by Jan Van Eyck, Holbein the Younger, Raphael, Mantegna and Botticelli. The portraits presented here are selected exclusively from works executed between the late Middle Ages and the 17th century - for it was then that portraiture came into its own. The portraits themselves have been chosen on the basis of their subjects' rank and profession. The value of this method of selection is its proximity to both the painters' intentions and their patrons' requirements.

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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 antiquity, interest in and attention to this type of painting grew. As a consequence, new visual types of portraiture--full length, profiles, groups--emerged, and a wider range of subjects (outside the traditional circle of royalty and clergy) was explored in the canvasses, along with psychological and atmospheric elements. During this heyday innumerable masterpieces were painted by a wealth of different artists. But the 19th century, with the advent of photography and impressionism, among other developments, put an abrupt end to the boom.

The paintings collected in this book include Botticelli's Profile of a Young Woman, in which his subject is draped in a lovely deep-red gown with pearls threaded through her intricately braided hair; Jan van Eyck's The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini, which doubled as something of a marriage certificate for the couple, as it attested to the presence of a witness (the artist himself) at the priestless ceremony; and da Vinci's Mona Lisa, arguably the most famous portrait in the world. Works by Poussin, Rembrandt, Titian, Dürer, Raphael, Rubens, Velázquez, and other artists illustrate the highlights of the period. The book itself is an interesting enough survey of some of the greatest portraits ever painted and the artists who created them. But it contains poorly reproduced plates of relatively common paintings and a conventional introductory essay, not to mention overlong annotations that tend to overtake the actual images. Still, The Art of the Portrait has achieved minor notoriety since being cited by David Hockney in The New Yorker (January 31, 2000) as supporting his theory that painters of the 16th century must have relied on optical devices such as the camera lucida to create the near-photographic perfection of the portraits. --Jordana Moskowitz

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Book Description Taschen - English Text Edition, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... An unread first edition, perfect for the collector. A useful and inspiring look at the portrait in art. Gorgeous paintings, revealing close ups. NEW and UNREAD first printing of the first edition hardback. Language: eng Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0. Seller Inventory # ABE-12525954968

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