Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
A small miracle
on 16 September 2008
Don't be put off by the small size - this is a wonderful book and for a low price gives you an absorbing introduction to this exceptional artist.
You are taken through the paintings by being shown, for many of them, a close up of part of a painting, then another part, then a reproduction of the whole painting, and then another detail often accompanied by a poem that gives the background to the scene. It is happily like walking through a gallery looking up close, then standing back, then reading the note next to the painting. The whole journey is wonderfully well done for 160 pages. At the back the book describes the stories from myth and literature that Waterhouse took as his subjects for the paintings. And there is a list of the paintings with details of their locations in the real world.
The quality of the reproductions, the colour, the sharpness, is exceptionally good.
Above all the pictures are beautiful, breathtaking, and moving. These paintings often touch a deep chord in the viewer about what it is to be human, and the moments of sadness, wonder, joy, grief, and longing that we all have. Waterhouse's had an extraordinarily accomplished technique and used it wonderfully.
To have these paintings in such a portably sized book is great. Well done and many thanks to Phaidon publishers and the unnamed person(s)that put this book together!
(And if you are wondering the cover painting is, it is Hylas and the Nymphs which is at Manchester City Art Gallery.)