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Arcimboldo: 1526-1593 Hardcover – February 26, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sylvia Ferino is the Curator of the Italian Painting of the Renaissance department at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Wien and a collaborator at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skira (February 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 886130379X
  • ISBN-13: 978-8861303799
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.3 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't buy art books like this anymore because I have too many of them and they are pretty expensive anyways. But I have seen this show twice at the National Gallery here in DC, and looked at the book in the gift shop both times. It would make a nice memory of the show, and that is not a negligible virtue for an art book. But as to the criticisms of the previous reviewer that the book is filled with what he surmises to be only tangentially related art and artifacts, consider this. First, not to be flippant, but what else do earnest museum curators discourse on in exhibition catalogues except such tangents. Does the previous reviewer want them to lose their jobs? But, more seriously, and second, I have seen pictures of Arcimboldo's works over a long period and never appreciated them. I must have seen some in person in European museums, but the vagaries of being able to focus in crowded tourists meccas, clouded my appreciation apparently. This show knocked me down. The paintings are so ravishing and detailed it is hard to comprehend. They are so overwhelmingly beautifully painted that you blink to be sure that you are not dreaming. ( And I praise God that the National Gallery has never joined the gimmick-tending art trends in terms of display and lighting.) It would not be believable to me that even such a genius artist could have pulled such visual prowess out of nowhere. Thus, all the ephemera, which does not even seem so closely allied to painting, is in person, not implausible as a source or inspiration. Perhaps we can see in the quite workaday quality of the "inspiration" an example of the really almost inconceivable ability of great artists to metamorphose rather unspectacular sources. Yet I wouldn't stand by these passing impressions. But I would stand by the observation that to appreciate this artist you must see them in person.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Hart on April 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is a spectacular look into the work of this great proto-surrealist. if you're a fan of the films of jan svankmajer or the brothers quay then you're already familiar with his work... whether you know it or not. i tend to buy art books for the ART, not the text, and this book is pretty well loaded with nice full page color plates. recommended.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter Yudkin on May 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arcimboldo 1526-1593 - Published by Skira.

If you are looking for a book of paintings by Arcimboldo, paintings and nothing else, then this book may satisfy you.
But if you would also like to know something about the artist, then keep looking, because this book is most disap-pointing.
The articles have been written (or maybe translated) by people whose first language is not English. The writing is extremely clumsy. Words have been chosen which are not appropriate and in many cases are so unusual that the definition cannot be found in a small dictionary. Frequently the meaning can be found only in a dictionary such as the Complete Oxford Dictionary or on the Internet.
The articles are in the main most uninteresting, frequently dealing with events and people so far removed from Ar-cimboldo, as to be meaningless.
Unnecessary footnotes occupy almost as much space as the articles.
History lessons abound, but what they have to do with the artist is never really clear.
There are countless images of other painters whose connection to Arcimboldo seems weak.
Arcimboldo painted the same picture many times, and other artists copied his work. And there are often several paintings that are almost identical, all reproduced in this book. For the average reader the subtleties are such that repetition of the work is not needed.
And although there is a 10 page bibliography at the end of the book, plus the numerous end-notes in each chapter, there is no index, so locating a particular painting means scrolling patiently through the book.
This is not a book I could recommend to anybody.
Peter Yudkin
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