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What Great Paintings Say: v.2: Vol 2 Paperback – 28 Feb 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; 1st Edition edition (28 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822813729
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822813720
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 3.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 886,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding - provides social and historical contexts 27 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This is a great book on art. So many times when I look at art books, what I find are commentaries on the "artistic" qualities of the paintings. You know, books gushing over an artist's use of colors and light effects.
Instead, the authors of this book analyze the social and historical contexts of the paintings. Great paintings are rarely purely decorative objects, but instead have some sort of message embedded within them. Objects within paintings typically have symbolic significance, and this book really helps the viewer understand the "message" in a painting, rather than concentrate upon technical aspects of artistic methods.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Looking at Paintings and Seeing History 10 Dec. 2003
By Grady Harp - Published on
Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen have done their research in examining paintings throughout time and have created two extraordinary volumes that invite us into the Art Appreciation Theater of an honored university of learning. Their biographies are strangely missing from these books: we can only surmise that these two fine art historians have spent countless hours in the museums of the world. The fruit of their labor is a world of revealed details secreted within the masterpieces we 'thought' we knew.
The technique: Introduce a complete painting, give a thorough background about the time in which it was created and the artist who created it, and then from isolated windows, fill the remaining pages about that painting with details that not only address the painter's technique but also make commentary on the social mores, theological and philosophical concepts often at odds with the casual audience perceptual skills, and in general open vistas of enjoyment and insight to even the most experienced viewer. The Hagens have managed to gossip a bit, chide and joke a bit, and in the end offer us insights into exactly 'what great paintings say!.'
Most of the paintings scrutinized are the large panoramas of, for example, Rembrandt ('The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp', 'Balshazzar's Feast'), Rubens ('The Love Garden' with the foggy details of Venus milking her breats as fountains!) van Eyck ('Adoration of the Lamb') Poussin, Goya, etc. In addition to famous masters, the Hagens bring to light such lesser known greats as Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz, a "Netherlandish master," Johannes Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, and Ilya Repin to mention only a few.
One of the marvels of this collection is the consummate attention paid Courbet's 1855 "The Studio" which depicts a painter at easel, his model, the commissioners of the painting, royalty and peasants - all painted with adoring detail. It definitely is a statement of the artist's political standpoint!
Technically the books are rich in color, creatively designed and close to color-correct. There is much to be enjoyed here and even more to advance the understanding and appreciation of art. A true gift!
What Great Paintings Say Volume 2 is wonderful 29 Aug. 2013
By ETMunson - Published on
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I love art and what better way to understand it more thoroughly and deeply is through these books. It gives you a plethora of information about the artist and the paintings and the history and politics of the times.Can't say enough about it.Fab Fab Fab!
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