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Mediterranean Color: Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Greece Hardcover – April 1, 1990


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Becom's photographs of the vernacular architecture of Mediterranean villages are startling, powerful and often piercingly beautiful. Poised between abstraction and realism, his images have the sense of inevitability one associates with great paintings. One hundred color photos are wedded to an engaging travel essay that captures the beauty and bewilderment of daily life in Morocco, the love of excess and sense of isolation in the Italian hill towns, the "majestic, dignified, indifferent, and vain" aura of Spain's sun-drenched villages. Typical shots show a stucco housefront brightly washed with color; a weathered shrine; votive offerings; a painted door; a Portuguese wall strewn with roses. While these photographs contain few people, they seem to embody the traditional cultures they lovingly explore. This marvelous book of quiet discoveries ties in with a joint BBC-PBS documentary.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

For Mediterranean villagers, dressing their dwellings in bold colors is a way of expressing individuality and pride in a world otherwise ruled by nature and the Church. Becom made their flamboyant architecture the focus of his photographic lens from 1978 to 1988, and the resulting images are here complemented by lively anecdotes. Becom tells of visiting a Venetian fisherman whose cottage he'd photographed five years earlier and finding it painted different hues. As Becom watches, the owner again changes its appearance from lobster-red and yolk-yellow to vermillion and shocking pink. Then there's the tradition of Camogli wives, who coat their narrow, cliffside houses with striking shades so each husband can recognize his home from the sea. Becom's graceful text is as satisfying to the mind as his photographs are to the eye, examining why these peasant traditions arose and why, in most cases, they are dying out.
- Lisa Mullenneaux, Iowa City
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896599256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896599253
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,983,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jerryl on November 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is about Architecture, Color, and how we see the world. It's not about how to be a tourist in the Mediterranean. Unless, of course, you would like to be a tourist who really "sees" what is in front of your eyes when you walk down that picturesque village street. Jeffrey Becom has a killer eye. His camera isolates a detail from our normal panoramic vision of a building or a street scene. When we contemplate this detail our sense of beauty, aesthetic organization, and how the world works is expanded. His capability to see these details while wandering the countries bordering the Mediterranean allows us normal humans a greater appreciation of the sensibilities of work-a-day Mediterannean peoples. The contemplation of Jeffrey Becom's work also inevitably causes us to look at our own world differently. I see things now when I walk down the street that I didn't see before I looked at Becom's work.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey's migration from architecht to painter now photographer has imbued his work with a unique sensibility. As a Becom collector Ihave come to appreciate the quality of his eye and the intensity of the Cibrachrome process of printing. I was quite delighted with Jeffrey's ability to write as well; though readers should know that this is primarily a photography book written by a photographer and his wife. He has several galleries around the world that show his work, and though expensive, his work is worth the price! I expectantly await his next book on similar topic, but location of South America. Long Live Jeffrey Becom
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book and great writing. Beautiful images of architecture, color and life. I highly reccomend. A must have for anyone who has traveled there or for anyone who dreams of doing so. Jeffrey Becom's photographs are a feast for the eyes and his tales are engrossing. One must also look at his other book Maya Color - stunning as well!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ann gillespie on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book looking for a lush picture book of inspiring photos of mediterranean homes. It is not. Although the photography is nice, it is primarily of colourful buildings abroad.
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