Apollo - March 2011
Of the shelf Apollo’s selection of recently published books on art, architecture and the history of collecting
Kunsthistorisches Museum Cäcilia Bischoff (ed.) Thames & Hudson, £35 ISBN 9783854971870 The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, is among the most important examples of museum architecture in Europe, and is testament to the Habsburg dynasty’s imperial selfrepresentation. This monograph recounts the fraught relationship between the building’s architects, Gottfried Semper and Carl van Hasenauer, prior to its opening in 1891, and explores the museum’s history, architecture, and wealth of painted and sculptural decoration.
he Hare with Amber Eyes Edmund de Waal Chatto & Windus, £16.99 ISBN 9780701184179 Potter Edmund de Waal’s inheritance of 264 netsuke from his uncle Iggie unlocked the remarkable story of his forbears and their art. The collection, begun in Paris in the 1870s while the family was prosperous, was later smuggled out of the family’s Viennese palace, one piece at a time, by a loyal maid during World War I – it was all that remained of their vast wealth. De Waal’s memoir recounts how the netsuke passed from hand to hand, and by twist of fate returned to Japan.
x Libris: The Art of Bookplates Martin Hopkinson British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 9780714126746 Endlessly diverse and charming, bookplates (ex libris) are the small decorative labels pasted inside a book’s cover by their owner. Their printed form originated in 16thcentury Germany and became an art form practised by artists across Europe and beyond. Tracing their design evolution, Hopkinson surveys examples by, among others, Josiah Wedgwood, Edward Burne-Jones and Frederic Leighton.
BOOKS OFF THE SHELF
change in master
Young Michelangelo John T. Spike Duckworth Publishers, £20 ISBN 9780715640661 This compelling biography reinterprets the early life and career of one of the greatest artists in history, probing the artistic evolution and yearnings of a young man thoroughly convinced of his own exceptional talent. Spike details the enormous influence that Michelangelo’s charismatic personality had on his contemporaries and followers, and probes the artist’s involvement in the most troubling controversies of his age, from the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ to the burning of Savonarola at the stake.
A Closer Look: Frames Nicholas Penny National Gallery Publishing, £7.99 ISBN 9781857094404 This book is a welcome read for anyone who has admired a frame as much as the painting within. Through a survey of frames containing some of the finest paintings in the National Gallery, London, Nicholas Penny explores the design and techniques of frame-making, the ways in which a frame can assist a painting and its role within an interior scheme. Frames reflect the tastes of both artists and collectors over the years, yet the subject is rarely explored.
Cottages and Villages Mireille Galinou Yale University Press, £40 ISBN 9780300162820 The root of the garden suburb lies not, as is often believed, in the garden-city movement of the 20th century but in the 18th-century Eyre brothers’ villa estate in St John’s Wood, London. This is the first detailed account of the pioneering Eyre Estate, created as a haven for artists and professionals, and the remarkable story of the Eyre family. Their legacy paved the way for the green suburb agenda for the middle classes around the world.
June 2010 apollo 189
march 2011 apollo 189