The Golden Age of Botanical Art - Martyn Rix

 

The Golden Age of Botanical Art (Univ. of Chicago, $35), edited by Martyn Rix, features 250 rare plates drawn primarily from the collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. The main delight of this book is its fascinating intertwining of art, botany, and the histories of exploration, colonization, and travel. You will no longer see botanical illustration as dutiful, static representation (if ever you did!) but will be amazed at each specimen’s role in the long saga of globalization, intrepid journeying, and the thrills of discovery. The volume begins in the 16th century, surveying English herbals, Islamic botany in Turkey, and the work of Leonardo da Vinci. It continues through the Victorian Age, with a strong focus on India, before proceeding to today’s state of the art. Along the way, side trips follow missionaries in China, the rise of horticultural journals in 18th-century South America, and Josephine Bonaparte’s surprising contributions to the field. This is a fascinating, insightful angle on the history of several centuries, and a beautiful volume that makes a passable substitute for an actual visit to Kew Gardens.

The Golden Age of Botanical Art Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780226093598
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: University of Chicago Press - September 23rd, 2013

The Modern Art Cookbook - Mary Ann Caws

Artists as well as cooks know that presentation is everything, and in the gallery of pleasures that is The Modern Art Cookbook (Reaktion, $39), Mary Ann Caws pairs visual and literary evocations of food with matching recipes. Many of these dishes come from the kitchens of the great modern artists; here’s Renoir’s special sea urchin sauce, Picasso’s herb soup, and van Gogh’s monkfish and mussel stew—or try Dalí’s mesclagne landais, if you dare. Writers are also ready chefs, and Caws samples the bass dish Alice B. Toklas prepared for Picasso and serves up Emily Dickinson’s instructions for gingerbread, alongside recipes and brief narratives from iconic food writers such as M.F.K. Fisher and Elizabeth David. A serious scholar and the author of books on surrealism and poetry, Caws specializes in the French arts, but her range is broad and deep. She wears her learning lightly in this anthology, whose point, she says, is “affection,” as well as harmony and joy.
The Modern Art Cookbook Cover Image
$39.00
ISBN: 9781780231747
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Reaktion Books - October 15th, 2013

The Lost Battles - Jonathan Jones

Competition was key to the astonishing creativity of the Italian Renaissance. Nowhere was this truer than in Florence, where, in 1504, officials commissioned paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo for the Republic’s Great Council Hall. These murals are The Lost Battles (Knopf, $35) at the center of this rich account by The Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones. Commissioned both to celebrate Florence and to determine who was the greater artist, the dual depictions looked to the past martial glory of Florence for their subject, but in approach and style pointed ahead to the art of the High Renaissance. As Jones defines the different strengths of the two competitors—Leonardo was “an artist who worked with ideas,” while Michelangelo was primarily a sculptor and dealt in risk and daring—he shows how these distinctions heralded new criteria for judging art. The emphasis was no longer on technical expertise, but on individual style and originality. And the winner? Neither artist completed the assignment, and the preliminary drawings were likely destroyed when the Medicis regained power in 1513.

The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel That Defined the Renaissance Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780307594754
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - October 23rd, 2012

The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo and the Artistic Duel That Defined the Renaissance Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307741783
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - August 13th, 2013

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