Customer Review

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Art book polluted by distain for the original Image.., 2 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Rossetti: Painter and Poet (Hardcover)
Yet another art book polluted by absolute distain for the original image, who has allowed their own words put next to such poor reproductions upon which they base their career.

Some images seem true but many more seem badly amped up in photoshop leaving murky images with a yellow/green cast. Compared to the quality of the color images from Rossetti in Allen Staley's "New Painting of the 1860's" this should not even have gone to print.

Anyone who produces an art book 31 x 28cm is obviously attempting to appeal to art loving audience.
Why then would you, like this book, would produce the majority of the paintings around 10cm and often smaller?
Why would you, like this book, produce well known and loved images with such poor attention to accurate colour reproduction?
And why would you, like this book, have the layout with the already too small pictures printed into the spine? So we will not have to struggle to read Mr Bullens words??

With such a disregard and contempt for the work and artist on which he has built his career, I'm afraid I have little interest in what he has to say. Anyone whom produces so many words upon an artist or painting one would expect have an obsessive eye, taking pride in creating a highly precise, reproduction of beloved works.

Academic's who take on the task of producing a book with images must realise that they take on the responsibility of introducing public around the world (who may never of seen this work in person) to the work of this artist.

The academic has been in a privileged position of seeing the original work up close. In their book they create a reference to whom, for many years, by many people will be relied upon to demonstrate accurate information. In choosing an large format art book as the medium, JB Bullen has undertaken that the images truly represent the work of artist, and ideally done in such a way that more people come to love Rossetti's work. This JB Bullen has failed to do.

Or more bluntly, if I didn't know Rossetti's work from other sources, I would not seek it out further after viewing the reproductions in this book.

Yes, my review is harsh. I look in an art book for it to transport me to the paintings I cannot see in the museums, I cannot visit. Look at "Society Portrait" from Thames and Hudson for a five star comparison of similar size and cost.

Rossetti is one of my favourite painters and I had high expectations of a good quantity of full sized rich reproductions in this large format book. If the book were half the size, and retained the images the size they are, with a less haphazard layout and more accurate color reproduction... I would have given the book 3-4 stars.

This seems to be an academic's textbook, marketed and printed as an art lovers/artists coffee table book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Dec 2011 10:31:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Dec 2011 10:32:31 GMT
Frustrated says:
This is really a 'yes, but ...' The reviewer is refreshingly useful on the reproductions, but has absolutely nothing to say about Bullen's biography of Rossetti. But it is intriguing that while other reviewers have praised the reproductions, this one doesn't. Sadly, the review is somewhat grammatically challenged.

Posted on 24 Dec 2011 11:06:51 GMT
Vickidiva says:
For someone who posts such a scathing review of this book - it seems to me that they need to learn to spell as disdain actually has a d in it and not a t. Their comments may well then be taken seriously!
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