Synopses & Reviews
This sumptuous, oversized art treasury--with nearly 300 full-page reproductions of major works from museums all over the world--presents the history of Western portraiture, from its earliest beginnings in ancient art to its flowering in the Renaissance and Baroque eras to its transformation in modern times. The masters of the portrait--including Van Eyck, Leonardo, Raphael, Hals, Holbein, and Rembrandt--are all well represented, as are more recent practitioners of the genre such as Picasso, Chuck Close, and Gerhard Richter. Numerous stunning, close-up details provide an intimate view of the subjects depicted and invaluable information about the artists' techniques. Art historian Andreas Beyer's well-researched and far-ranging text offers a fascinating overview of portraiture; it is augmented by extended captions that shed light on each of the individual works, a complete bibliography, and biographies of the artists. Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy, Francois Boucher's Madame de Pompadour, John Singer Sargent's Madame X, Pablo Picasso's Gertrude Stein, and scores of other masterworks by famous and less-well-known artists make this deluxe volume a joy to behold--a splendid celebration of a key aspect of our artistic heritage.
DESCRIPTION (longer copy)Conceived as a companion to Abrams' Still Life (1999), this book presents the history of portrait painting, starting with its roots in ancient art and focusing on its flowering as an autonomous genre beginning in the 15th century. The book comprises all types of portraiture-- individual and group portraits; official and casual settings; subjects ranging from the famous to the anonymous; renderings of friends, family, and the artists themselves; idealized visions juxtaposed with warts-and-all realism. The masters of portraiture--including Van Eyck, Leonardo, Raphael, Hals, Rembrandt, Holbein, Gainsborough, and many others--are well represented, as are more recent practitioners of the genre such as Picasso, Chuck Close, and Gerhard Richter. More than 200 major paintings from collections throughout the world are presented in sumptuous reproductions, enriched by informative, full-page details. The well-researched and comprehensive text provides an overview of portraiture, while detailed captions describe the importance of each work. An extensive bibliography, along with biographies of each of the artists represented, complete this impressive volume.
About the Author
Andreas Beyer, one of the leading German art historians of his generation, is chair of the art history department at the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany. He has had fellowships at the Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.