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Great Memory Aid, Research Guide, and Resource for Planning a Visit
on 23 December 2011
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." -- Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)
When I first heard about this book, I was overjoyed. I live across the Atlantic from the Louvre and my visits there are all too infrequent. I realized that this volume would help me remember favorite paintings. I was thrilled to find hundreds of descriptions of major paintings that added to my knowledge as well. I spent about 12 hours with the book just savoring happy memories from time in the Louvre.
I was happy to find that the book also contains an excellent history of the painting collection, something I knew little about, even though I was a French History major in college. I found these materials to be fascinating.
Beyond that, I loved that the book contains locations for the paintings. As a result, I can plan future trips to the Louvre to make better use of my limited time there. I find that I lose the ability to really focus after two hours, and this book will allow me to spend my time where it will do me the most good.
I was astonished to find a searchable DVD that allows me to quickly look up paintings by artist, by collection, by school, and by location. I often do research on paintings, and this tool will save me many hours. I am a complete klutz when it comes to using resources like this, and I mastered how to use it in about three minutes. The directions are very clear. I ran it on Foxfire. It's a much easier way to research the works than handling this large volume.
Now, be sure to realize what this book isn't: It isn't an attempt to create large size images in the highest possible definition. You can't do that in one book with so many images. It would take 20 volumes and the result would be priced at over $1,000, I'm sure.
I was impressed that 80 percent of the thumbnails were photographed and printed clearly enough so that I could make out the relevant details. The biggest problems occur with the Northern School works because many are so dark to begin with.
At the time I ordered the book, it was only $37.50 plus shipping. That's a steal for such a resource. When I first heard about the book, I estimated its price at $250.
If you aren't familiar with the Louvre's painting collection, realize that its great strengths are in Italian and French works through the early part of the 19th century. There are many fine paintings from other countries, but the representation is limited.
One unintended benefit I received from this book is that it greatly enhanced my understanding of the Christian works in the collection. If that subject is of interest, you'll be blessed by what you see and read.