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The Art of Arts: Rediscovering Painting Paperback – Oct 23 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (Oct. 23 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520229649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520229648
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 11.9 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,315,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I have recommended this book to several people and now it is available in paperback! It contains many nuggests of information a traditional oil painter will treasure. For example, the lapis lazuli-based pigment used by Van Eyck in his paintings contained tiny flecks of stone which added richness and sparkle to the paint. It was also irregularly ground and refracts light differently than the modern homogeneous synthetic "ultramarine blue" pigment available today. It was precious in Van Eyck's time, but today lapis lazuli ultramarine is more costly than gold per ounce. Albus devotes much of the book to historical pigments and shares recipes for making them.
My complaint with the book is that it is a strangely-shaped volume (it is extremely narrow and tall) and is uncomfortable to hold. Still, the early chapters on Van Eyck's paintings and the historical pigments will entice painters interested in effects not possible with modern pigments.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Traditional painters and Van Eyck fans will love this book! Sept. 11 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have recommended this book to several people and now it is available in paperback! It contains many nuggests of information a traditional oil painter will treasure. For example, the lapis lazuli-based pigment used by Van Eyck in his paintings contained tiny flecks of stone which added richness and sparkle to the paint. It was also irregularly ground and refracts light differently than the modern homogeneous synthetic "ultramarine blue" pigment available today. It was precious in Van Eyck's time, but today lapis lazuli ultramarine is more costly than gold per ounce. Albus devotes much of the book to historical pigments and shares recipes for making them.
My complaint with the book is that it is a strangely-shaped volume (it is extremely narrow and tall) and is uncomfortable to hold. Still, the early chapters on Van Eyck's paintings and the historical pigments will entice painters interested in effects not possible with modern pigments.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In Praise of Painting Dec 22 2012
By M. Kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know what painting was, the story is here. How pigments were ground and mixed. What is lapis lazuli and why the color never fades. Why some green pigments age to brown. How many layers of paint and glaze are to be found in Van Dyke's portrait of the Arnolfinis. You might be interest to read that discussion of perspective in the Arnolfini predates by tens of years Hockney's discovery of flaws, so-called. If you want to make your own pigments, recipes from the 16th century are here too.
Excellent writing, beautiful design Jan. 13 2014
By leon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Albus is biased no doubt, but we don't have to agree with everything she said. Anyway, most of the things she said are spot on, if not eye opening. All artists (esp painters) should read this book.
The design of the book is equally exquisite - great typography and layout. Full colour reproduction of the paintings in question inserted in the book, some with fold-out.
Cool Book Dec 13 2012
By I. Speakthetruth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book, very nice insight into the art world. Would make a nice gift for the art lover too.
well expressed with a nod to the painting studio process May 30 2012
By tnNative - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This could very well be a boring book for anyone looking to clarify art history. It isn't that. It's something different. The copious footnotes are indeed there but it shows a well researched and wide ranging application of resources, they're not something to be read as the text. The writer's eye toward the physical aspect of painting is undeniable. Most painters love the connections between the historical works and the enduring thread to their current practices. The work is well researched and her writing, to me, never gets that clinical. Her history is not data but the flesh and sinew of oil painting. It's not "well illustrated" but provides a number of fold out images that reinforce her narrative points. The section dealing with the paint itself is a glimpse into the sense and interest of the painter about the importance of color, it's visual function, surface substance, and how the artist was connected to the growing aspect of scientific personal discovery. If you like to go back to a book that you've read before and randomly open it and just start to read...it can be that kind of book. I suspect every reader will find a section that drags a bit. It's not a thriller. Lovely written, often poetic, the kind of book that ends up on your shelf.

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