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The Great Masters of the Albertina Paperback – 28 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Art Stock Books Ltd (28 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3865683266
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865683267
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 6.1 x 30 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,694,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Waite on 3 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is an exceptional book. It shows 286 drawings from the Albertina, from Durer to late 20th century. All the drawings are in full colour, including comparative fig.s and photographs of the museum, and none are less than page size a few being spread across a double page. There are some close-ups interspersed occasionally which are excellent for seeing details. The book opens with a chapter about the Albertina collection, but the main bulk is the drawings. The reproductions are great, and all the famous drawings are here including Durer's Hands and the Large Piece of Turf as well as a good selection of Michelangelo and Raphael. German drawings of the nineteenth century are understandably well represented, and I was surprised how good the modern selection is, given the Albertina's fame for old masters (Great Masters in the title is deliberate).
The only odd thing about the book is that there is no index. The drawings are arranged roughly by date and school so it is possible but can be difficult to find specific artists (for example, I was recently looking for images by Andrea del Sarto and spent a good few minutes before I could be sure there aren't any of his drawings in this book). However, this is a minor quibble and otherwise this is an absolutely excellent catalogue. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. It must weight three or four kilos at least. It's the size of a doorstep. Beautifully designed and printed, it presents some wonderful drawings.

I've been collecting books on drawing for a few years and bought this title because there's every indication the Albertina has an impressive collection. They do. There's plenty of works I hadn't seen before which were jaw-droppingly good. Even from masters such as Raphael.

If you are interested in drawing put this at the top of the list.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stephen allen on 5 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
A beautiful richly illustrated book of drawings and watercolours from the Albertina. Excellent value for money 15 Dec. 2013
By Dr - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Albertina is one of the very greatest collections of Master Drawings and Watercolours .It also has a vast collection of Prints that are not featured in this volume.
The book starts by detailing the soul searching in the Albertina with falling visitor numbers ,lack of exhibition space,lack of space to store their many precious items etc. The Albertina has had an extensive make over.
They have now restored the State Rooms and tracked down some 200 items of furnishings that left the building at the close of WWI .these rooms are open to the public and there are some excellent photos of these rooms.
There is a history of the collection which covers the founder Duke Albert but also all his successors up to the end of WWI .There is also a good essay on the Building This helps one understand there changes in the building and the Staterooms

The basis of the book is around 290 drawings including some watercolours. Most of the great names are there.See the description above for some of the artists. There is a beautiful set of Durer watercolours,multiple items by Michealangelo and Raphael etc etc. You can compare how different artists render the same object eg R Savery vs Rembrandt's elephant, you can compare the many different portraits (Rubens tender portraits of his wife and son vs many others. You can see the effect of using pen and ink vs silverpoint or red chalk etc or the use of tinted paper or the use of wash.
Many different different types of scene are covered, landscape,seascape,interiors,tavern scenes etc
About 60 per cent of the item cover from from 1500 till about 1800 with reasonable modern coverage.
As the coverage is from 1500 till the present then there are obvious gaps ( the Swiss born Fuseli was the only British artist I noted) There is a reasonable selection of American artists That said,the editor and his team have made a excellent selection of drawings the showcase the strengths of the Albertina and introduce people to both well known and less well known artists
The format of each description is text on on side with the illustration on the next page. There is a description of technique/provenance and literature
This is followed by a paragraph summary of the artists life then comments on the piece under discussion.this is written in clear ,understandable prose. The illustrations are of high quality

The work is a translation from the original German. I think it is well done

As you will note from the Amazon description the book is fairly tall and pretty heavy at nearly 9 pound
The book doesn't open flat but usually this isn't a problem

Bottom line. This is a beautiful book of drawings by many of the great artists.The drawings are beautifully reproduced and worth the value of the book alone. For those that want to know more there is the text and an extensive bibliography

If you are in Vienna you may wish to check the Albertina out. As drawings are very light sensitive each exhibition is only short lived so check the web site
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