Art and Art History

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'Turner's Britain' By James Hamilton published by Merrell ISBN 1 85894 212-8

A detailed, scholarly work with masses of illustrations not likely to be seen elsewhere. The book accompanied an exhibition at Birmingham Art Gallery which Beryl saw but I missed. I have always liked Turner's work without really knowing why but this book demonstrates the huge variety in his work and shows how his styles changed.

I am writing these notes before having completed reading the book but the work is further convincing me of my liking for Turner. A quotation from chapter 1 (page 34) makes a very good point that I was not aware of before:

"Turner's education as an artist thus encompassed the study of sculpture, Old Master painting, the human figure, perspective, watercolour, engraving, portraiture, architecture and stage painting, as well as experience of the politics of the art world: he seems to have studied practically everything except miniature painting." (James Hamilton adds in his note to the chapter that he did actually have a go at miniature painting as well)

I am now particularly interested in finding out more about Turner's work for architects. Hamilton mentions at length the fact that Turner wrote (not very good) poetry. Another fascination for me is the fact that Turner kept diaries, journals and sketchbooks. Hamilton's book is about what was happening in Britain during Turner's lifetime - there was a huge amount of profound development and Turner seems to have been an enthusiastic recorder and well as one who shaped opinions of the time and later.

 

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'Vermeer's World' by Irene Netta published by Prestel ISBN 3-7913-3080-2

A short account of a life not very well documented. Illustrations good and some quite important points made by comparing the paintings to contemporary maps. Vermeer moved buildings to suit his composition. I have always been enchanted by his paintings and even more so having read 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' by Tracy Chevalier . See Elsewhere.

 

'Francois Boucher - Seductive Visions' ISBN 0 900785 72 1 Published by The Wallace Collection to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the Wallace Gallery September 2004 to April 2005.

Still not finished reading it - amazing exhibition though and such a beautiful gallery. Comments to follow.

 

'L.S. Lowry Conversation Pieces' Andras Kalman in conversation with Andrew Lambirth. Published by Chaucer Press.

ISBN: 1 904449 00 X. Comments to follow.

Purchased as a result of two visits to the Lowry Gallery at Salford Quays during the last year. One to visit the Lowry Exhibition and the other to visit both the Lowry and the Jane Bown exhibition. For me Jane Bown is the photographer of people in my lifetime. I have been looking at her photographs since about 1960 but it is only in the last 20 years or so that I have appreciated her work. I have worked with some people who are at the top of their profession and they revere Jane. And so do I.

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From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925: from Moscow and St Petersburg (Hardcover)
by Albert Kostenevich, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Anna Poznanskaya
Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts (7 April 2008)
ISBN-10: 1905711158
ISBN-13: 978-1905711154

Brilliant guide to a brilliant exhibition - see the one amazon review