When we think of the works of Rubens, we first call to mind their sumptuous details, rich color choices, and daring compositions. And for the past century, art lovers and historians alike have pointed to his paintings as a pure embodiment of Baroque emotion. But in The Catholic Rubens, venerable art critic Willibald Sauerländer argues that this modern notion of Rubens must be underpinned by a deeper understanding of the religious in his oeuvre. Pieces such as this modello for an altarpiece show that the turmoil and tumult of Rubens’s work were designed to inspire religious exaltation.
Our spring book roundup! As the natural world begins to come to life again, it may be time to revisit your reading list. Here are our favorite books to complement the season.
Some Japanese Flowersis a stunning gift book featuring Kazumasa Ogawa’s exquisite hand-colored collotype prints. Flowers of the Renaissancelooks at various depictions of flora in art from this period and digs deeper into their meaning, uncovering hidden treasures in the grass at a saint’s feet, on the sleeve of an Elizabethan lady, and inside the lid of a Florentine wedding chest. Nature and Its Symbolsis the ultimate reference for art lovers and historians who are eager to discover the many meanings artists through the ages have connoted with a single flower. Irisesoffers an in-depth study of Van Gogh’s influential and evocative work.
Eschewing the simple dichotomy of “classical” and “modern” in favor of a far more nuanced approach, Modern Antiquity highlights not only to the aesthetic impact ancient art had on twentieth-century artists but also to the ways in which these artists shaped our contemporary experience of antiquity. The authors examine the work of four distinctly different artists, finding the classical influence in de Chirico’s enigmatic piazzas, Picasso’s post-Cubist women, Léger’s mechanized nudes, and Picabia’s Transparencies.
Celebrate the first days of spring with Gardens of the Roman World! This book, available from our Virtual Library, is lushly illustrated with not only images of the verdant landscapes of the Roman Empire’s most famous gardens, such as the ones at Hadrian’s Villa and Pompeii, but also stunning ancient frescoes that depict the flora and fauna of the ancient world.
Advances are in! Los Angeles Union Station offers a riveting history of one of the most iconic buildings on the West Coast. Designed by John and Donald B. Parkinson, Union Station’s mission revival architecture speaks to a mythic vision of Spanish heritage, but with streamline moderne and art deco details. At first glance this masterpiece offers no hint of the civic, financial, and legal battles surrounding its development, siting, style, and construction. This book provides a full account of the genesis of the building and reveals the way in which its contentious conception shaped its architecture.