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Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Power of Art

Simon Schama's The Power of Art is a weighty tome that my son gave me for Christmas. It's heavy reading, but only in the actual poundage. Schama begins with the rascally Caravaggio and his sublime paintings, working in the backstory of the artist's checkered political and personal life as he paints monumental artworks, many of which include his own portrait as a villain or a victim. The powerful stories of seven more great artists--Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko--all have a twist, which Schama works into the historical timeline in vivid, compelling narration. The book is lavishly illustrated with high quality images that show great detail. I'm working my way back and forth between gentle Emily Carr and these remarkable giants. Fascinating reading.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Marion BE said...

I also got Power of Art for Christmas! Along with the DVD of the TV series a little while thereafter. The book has information in it that's not in the TV series, but the TV series is able to show you the artworks in a different way. It's a mixture of Simon Schama narrating and historical reconstruction. I've found both totally spellbinding.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Joyce said...

I envy you both that lovely book!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

I didn't know there was a DVD on the TV series. I definitely want to see those programs. The book is written in a lively, provocative style and I imagine seeing it on the TV would really bring it to life.

11:16 AM  

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