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The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century Paperback – 1 Apr 1984

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (1 April 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226015130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226015132
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
ALL THE ORDER WAS OK. NOTHING TO SAY. ALL OK. ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.ALL OK.
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Format: Paperback
This book has become a classic reader on the topic. It is thorough and illuminating, going beyond the pure iconography to place Dutch art into a wider cultural environment and exploring the visual culture of Holland in the seventeenth-century.

Preface, xv
Introduction, xvii
1. Constantijn Huygens and The New World, 1
2. "Ut pictura, ita visio": Kepler's Model of the Eye and the nature of picturing in the north, 26
3. "With a sincere hand and a faithful eye": The Craft of Representation, 72
4. The Mapping Impulse in Dutch Art, 119
5. Looking at Words: The Representation of Texts in Dutch Art, 169
Epilogue: Vermeer and Rembrandt, 222
Appendix: On the Emblematic Interpretation of Dutch Art, 229
Notes, 235
Index, 269
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Format: Paperback
Dense and academic.

I found this extremely hard going, I don't think the general reader will get much out of this.

One for art theorists I think.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Svetlana Alpers draws on a vast knowledge of her subject ... 15 May 2016
By Jerry Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Svetlana Alpers draws on a vast knowledge of her subject to choose telling examples to discuss. She looks at these examples very closely, with a fresh eye, and connects what she sees to an understanding of European intellectual history as thorough and perceptive as her knowledge of the art she discusses. Though she mentions photography directly in only one long footnote--and what a footnote it is!--every point she makes cries out to be applied to photographic seeing.
This is a truly important book. It belongs on the same shelf as Panofsky and Gombrich.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 May 2015
By P. Coolsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating thesis about the Dutch pre-dispositon for describing in their painting and in their photography.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 11 May 2015
By Downtown Pearl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
too dense
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 6 Jun. 2013
By Stephen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazingly detailed and well researched. Quite interesting and appropriate to our contemporary culture in the US. Not your standard art history text
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Approachable book to a dry subject (in my opinion) 17 Mar. 2010
By Matthew L. Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought that Alpers did a good job of explaining the motivation behind 17th century dutch art without being too boring. I'm more of a modernist, so this period tends not to fascinate me.

-Matt
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