Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
A very good book about a brilliant artist
on 24 November 2014
I was delighted to receive this book as a present. There were some Dali paintings that I found fascinating and quite brilliant in terms of the thought that went into them. I wanted to know more about him and his works. I found this book perfect: it positions itself as a detailed introduction rather than a biography but I gained the impression that the major influences on Dali's life and work were all here. Most importantly, there are reproductions of many of his paintings.
This book taught me how many references / allusions there are in the paintings. It takes a certain sort of mind to make ordinary objects symbolise so much. And the complexity of the images is quite staggering. I mention this, not to turn this review into one of Dali's work, but to illustrate the value of this book. What Paul Moorhouse has done is to take many of Dali's most important works and explain them.. It could take hours of standing in front of them to work out everything that was going through Dali's head as he painted them: this book is therefore a mine of information and Moorhouse is clearly an expert with the ability to explain complexity in terms that are easy to understand.
This book can be approached in two ways: as a text that adds value to Dali's paintings or as a book to be flicked through simply for the pleasure of seeing the reproductions. Whichever way you approach it, there is one inescapable fact: Dali was a superb painter, quite capable of producing 'traditional' portraits and landscapes in exquisite detail but also capable of producing the most complex and surreal imagery. He even experimented in stereoscopy: 3D in today's language. What attention to detail and hand-control it must take to produce two almost-but-not-quite identical paintings that work in this way!
This is a very good book about a brilliant artist. It adds value and is well worth owning.