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Ivan Shishkin (Best of...) Hardcover – 28 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Sirrocco Publishing Ltd (28 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781602484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781602485
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 24.8 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Cox on 30 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the only affordable book on Russia's great 19th Century forest painter - the "Tsar of the Forests" - currently available. It's a great bargain at £9.95 so snap it up quickly, as these Parkstone books have a habit of disappearing quickly (previous volumes on Russian artists were on Repin and Serov). The good thing about this book is that it exists and that it includes dozens of superb paintings in full colour (and many more graphic works in black & white) in a well-made, properly-stitched 200-page large (285x240cm) hardback. For all this it is undoubtedly worth 5 stars. The text, unfortunately, isn't up to the same standard, not because its quality is poor, but because rather little is about Shishkin himself, and more about 19th Century Russian painting in general. Also, most if not all of the illustrations are also in the 1984 Pan/Aurora Shishkin book, a superb volume despite only being available in paperback (I've had mine rebound in hardcover) so this isn't essential if you have that one. But if you were lucky enough, like me, to see the magnificent Shiskin paintings in the "Russian Landscape" exhibition at the National Gallery in 2004 you won't need any further recommendation to buy this book anyway.
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By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a frequent painter of woodland subjects myself, I simply had to pre-order this book; Shishkin isn't at all well-known in the west and I only had random illustrations of his work in reference books (chiefly the old Pan/Aurora book on The Itinerants from 1982) so the prospect of a whole volume of his work was irresistible.

The text is an exercise in academic padding; there are two chapters that deal in very general terms with Russian Landscape painting and the role of the Itinerants, with only brief mentions of Shishkin; the biographical chapter is short and not particularly detailed. The remainder of the text consists of literary texts and poems.
The real reason to buy this book then, is for the illustrations; there are over 80 colour plates, including details of some works together with a good selection of his graphic work in black and white. The quality of the reproductions is perhaps a little contentious; I haven`t seen the artist`s work at first hand but there is undoubtedly to my eye a rather honeyed, brown/yellowish cast to some of the illustrations. The photographs are certainly in focus to the point where the weave of the canvas and brushwork can be seen, but there is also a persistent texture present in most of the images, as if they have been photographed using coarse-grain film. It is apparent in the black and white work and archive photographs as well.

On balance, I was pleased to get such a good, solid hardback with a wealth of visual material on this artist; the quality is quite acceptable and I`m pretty critical about my art books. At the current asking price - under a tenner - it`s a bargain and a really useful addition to the library, certainly worth taking a chance on given the modest outlay.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Russian art is rarely seen outside Russia and unless you are planning to visit Moscow or St. Petersburg, then this is a rare opportunity to see one of Russia's greatest landscape artists.
The Parkstone series of books of Russian painters continues with this volume on Ivan Shishkin and anyone who is interested in Russian art should buy it immediately. The price on Amazon, as I write, is a paltry £6.97. Given the overall quality of the printing, which is far better than some would have you believe - I speak as someone who is a regular visitor to Russia and I have seen these paintings many times - and the fact that the book includes a selection of graphic works and photographs that you won't see outside Russia - and even in Russia they're not easily accesible - this book is a bargain. Given also that it is one of the very few books about Shishkin available in English, you should buy it immediately. Parkstone books almost always sell out quickly and then prices escalate to ridiculous levels, as has happened with the volumes on Serov and Repin. If there's a criticism to be made then it would be that the essays, which are translated from the original Russian, tend to be a bit lacking in depth. But that's nit-picking really. For less than the price of a ticket into the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow or the Russian museum in St Petersburg, where most of Shishkin's pictures can be seen, this book is a bargain and I recommend - nay urge - anyone with an interest in Russian art, or landscape artists in general, to buy this book before it sells out.
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By Thomas on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First purchase from this reseller and will use again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Buy this book! 23 Jan. 2014
By Jane Doe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For years I have searched for a good book of paintings by Russian master painter Ivan Shishkin. Until now there have been only a few old, poor-quality choices at high prices. I ordered this inexpensive book, just published, without high hopes. I was wrong! The book contains more than 80 full-color, full-page plates and dozens of half and quarter-page full-color plates, exquisitely reproduced so that the fine details are clear. It also contains Shishkin's drawings, sketches, and photographs along with a well written text. This is a must-have book for art lovers, artists and scholars.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
ARRRRRGGHHHH!! 1 Mar. 2014
By Jeff Raymond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This artist is not well known in the west, so currently (2014) this is one of few sources for his images. It's a well sized book with a lot of reproductions, many full page. The thing is, and having NOT seen the originals, I feel there is a strong yellow cast to the hue saturation and the contrast is a bit high, like old varnish turning sepia. These same paintings don't look like this on Google images. For me it made it hard to enter the paintings, when later in the book this golden glow wasn't present there was an immediate feeling of freshness and air. For this reason alone I give only 3 stars. But WOW what a painter.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully Presented 14 Jan. 2014
By Forever Art - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to wait a while for this book on preorder, but it was worth the wait. I am amazed at the quality of the writing, the history, and the wonderful illustrations of Shishkin's paintings. If you are an artist, a historian, or a collector of fine books, you will not be disappointed in this book. It is going to have an honored place in my art library.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not what I expected from Amazon 30 July 2014
By PfV - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not what I was expecting. Muddy reproductions, dark and dim. After some really excellent art books, this was a terrible disappointment and I put it back in the bottom of the box.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic painter, lovely text, but reproductions are only decent 18 Feb. 2014
By Cameron Mousavi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ivan Shishkin is one of my favorite painters, and finding good books on the landscape painters of Russian tradition has proven to be somewhat difficult, so I was very excited to find a new book being released, especially by Irina Shuvalova.

The book is very reasonably priced, well written, and the prints themselves are well placed - they take advantage of the book size and the two-page spreads aren't obtrusive. However, the reproductions themselves come off as warm and contrasty, which is somewhat disappointing. Shishkin's use of colors was absolutely lovely, and though the images still read very well, a lot of the subtleties are lost in these paintings. Some very beautiful, dark colors have been pushed to black, and some shadows which were filled with color are now dull.

However, as I said, this book is $15, and for everything it does right it's well worth the money.
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