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Book of Miracles [Hardcover]

by Till-Holger Borchert, Joshua P. Waterman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 2014 3836542854 978-3836542852 Box Har/Pa
Apocalypse then: Newly uncovered illuminations from the Renaissance depicting miraculous phenomena
The Book of Miracles that first surfaced a few years ago and recently made its way into an American private collection is one of the most spectacular new discoveries in the field of Renaissance art. The nearly complete surviving illustrated manuscript, which was created in the Swabian Imperial Free City of Augsburg around 1550, is composed of 169 pages with large-format illustrations in gouache and watercolor depicting wondrous and often eerie celestial phenomena, constellations, conflagrations, and floods as well as other catastrophes and occurrences. It deals with events ranging from the creation of the world and incidents drawn from the Old Testament, ancient tradition, and medieval chronicles to those that took place in the immediate present of the book’s author and, with the illustrations of the visionary Book of Revelation, even includes the future end of the world.

The surprisingly modern-looking, sometimes hallucinatory illustrations and the cursory descriptions of the Book of Miracles strikingly convey a unique view of the concerns and anxieties of the 16th century, of apocalyptic thinking and eschatological expectation. The present facsimile volume reproduces the Book of Miracles in its entirety for the first timeand thus makes one of the most important works of the German Renaissance finally available to art lovers and scholars. The introduction puts the codex in its cultural and historical context, and an extensive description of the manuscript and its miniatures, as well as a complete transcript of the text, accompany the facsimile in an appendix.

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Book of Miracles + Hieronymus Bosch. The Complete Works + Fritz Kahn (English, German and French Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The authors:
Till-Holger Borchert studied art history, musicology and German Literature at the universities of Bonn and Bloomington (IN). An acknowledged expert in Early Netherlandish paintings, he has been chief curator at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges since 2002. He has also curated numerous exhibitions in the sphere of art and cultural history, including in Brussels, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Madrid and New York. Borchert teaches art history at the universities of Aachen and Memphis (TN) and heads the Flemish Research Centre for the Arts in the Burgundian Netherlands.

Joshua P. Waterman studied art history and literature at Princeton University, where he received a Ph.D. for his dissertation on the correlation between literature and painting of the Silesian Baroque period of Silesia. The proven expert for German Renaissance art works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and was an Andrew Mellon Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Joshua P. Waterman has collaborated on several international exhibitions, including in New York, Philadelphia, Cologne and Bruges.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; Box Har/Pa edition (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3836542854
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836542852
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 13.5 x 2.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great images; very disappointing reproductions March 7, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The original images themselves are beautiful, strange, enigmatic, evocative, brilliant. Everything that one might expect. My disappointment lies in the quality of the reproductions: One would think that, in this day and age of digital media, where one can so easily make and print high resolution scans or digital photos, that there is no reason for anything less than the most sharp and detailed reproductions, with true, full, rich colors and a palatable sense of depth and tone. Especially at this price. But, unfortunately, the images as reproduced here in this book are somewhat hazy and blurry. They are not horrific, just nowhere near as good as they could or should be. And that is a huge disappointment.

The question is, why? Obviously, a lot of effort was made to produce a beautiful book package, with the clamshell box, the Florentine paper endpapers, the paperback catalogue included, etc. The original 16th century handbook was a rare and important find, and it has been reproduced here as the special art publishing event that it deserves to be - in all but one very important aspect: The actual reproduction of the images. It kind of boggles the mind that Taschen would go to all this trouble, and then bungle the "main event". We should be able to look at these images and feel as though we are looking at the originals, but that is hardly the case. Instead I feel as though I am looking at a color Xerox copy circa 1983. (And don't be fooled by the images online, which, for the most part, look amazingly sharp and rich and quite promising. But those images have been shrunk way down, and when one sees the full size images in the book . . .well, it is just rather sad).

The beguiling beauty of the images makes the book worthwhile; I won't be sending it back.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tour in another world February 21, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a book to "read" - it is a trip into a world that we have lost. Whatever be your religion (or perhaps none) this is a glimpse into the way people of a not-so-distant past saw their world. We can only wonder at (and maybe regret the loss of) their sense of wonderment at the mystery of life.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you February 28, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is what I expected. thank you very much for the book. Lots of information in the book and the appendix
Adrienne Anderson
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