Beautifully bound and illustrated, this gives a superb overview of a very well travelled 19th century photographer.
The collection of images here is huge and each one opens up a long since forgotten world, monarchs, cities and landscapes along with ordinary working folk are all captured naturally and with some considerable skill.
There are no 'fillers' in this collection, each picture is fascinating and seems to have a story to tell. Alongside most of the photo's is a small quote from Holmes himself and he comes across as a self-effacing and modest man despite his talent.
Also included are excellent notes on Holmes and his work and influences.
You may not have heard of him but his ability as a travelling photographer was second to none and still is. The painstaking process of hand tinting colour onto his works simply means that today they stand out and appear as alive as when he took them.
From around the world and from all walks of life Burton Holmes travelogues presents a fascinating view of a world long since gone. This book is extremely difficult to put down and the production values of both content and printing are 1st class.
I recommend this highly for both artists and those interested in the world around them and history, you will enjoy it immensely, buy with confidence.
on 28 December 2006
This book was a birthday present from my daughter. I study History of Early Photography. The whole subject fascinates & absorbs me. The quality of this Taschen publication is absolutely superb. The full page photographs, both black & white and the colour, to me, are spell-binding. I have not read any of the text yet, as I am still marvelling at the photographs themselves. People of long ago. Places, buildings, now deteriorated, some no longer existing. History gone for ever. Black & white photographs had to be hand-tinted. The colours of the photos are soft, muted. That was an art in itself. The colours no doubt being matched to the colours of that time. Some of the colours of the faces & attire, are so obviously tinted. Yet hold a charm of their own. To me, as one studies those people of long ago, their personalities still shine through, highlighted by such tinting. One studies expressions more closely. Often today's colour photographs of people don't encapture face-personality the same way. Some of the scenes are delicately tinted. I imagine them to be based on the colours that Burton Holmes was viewing. There would not be the vast array of material dyes, like today's world. Whether the photographs are black & white or partially tinted, Burton Holmes had the eye of an artist and a photographer. I believe that this 363 page volume could also be used to capture a child's or teenager's interest and get them interested in the countries, buildings, nations and people of the past. Could even be used as a means of expanding vocabulary. One could even play the child's game "I SPY" with some of the photographs. Or -perhaps to illustrate an essay,or deepen their knowledge in a related area. As you see, this book has completely fascinated and absorbed me. I hope you will find this too.