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Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard (Phillips Collection) Hardcover – November 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Phillips Collection
  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st ed edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300172362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300172362
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

Easton's book examines the relationship between the paintings and the amateur photos of the Nabis and other artists of the Post-Impressionist era through scholarly texts on individual artists and many beautiful, lavishly produced pictures—many of which are coming out of archives for the first time. What Snapshot teaches us is that it is the differences, and not the similarities, between these paintings and photographs that hold the key to the relevance of their comparison. —Shelley Rice


Winner of the 2012 New York Book Show Award in the Special Trade Photography, as given by the New York Book Show.
(New York Book Show Award in the Special Trade Photography category New York Book Show 2012-06-11)

Won an Honorable Mention for the 2011 New England Book Festival in the Photography/Art category. This award is given by the JM Northern Media family of festivals, and sponsored by the Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, eDivvy, Shophanista and Westside Websites
(Photgraphy/Art Honorable Mention New England Book Festival 2012-06-11)

Winner in the Photography/Art category at the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Book Festival.
(Winner Photography/Art Los Angeles Book Festival 2012-06-11)

Won an Honorable Mention for the 2011 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award, as given by the Art Libraries Society of North America.
(George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award Honorable Mention Art Libraries Society of North America 2012-06-11)

"[A]n exemplary catalogue for its scholarship and content . . . Highly recommended."—P.C. Bunnell, Choice
(P.C. Bunnell Choice)

Winner of the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival for the Photography/Art category, sponsored by the JM Northern Media LLC
(Photography/Art Award San Francisco Book Festival 2012-06-11)

Won an award in the scholarly illustrated category in the AAUP 2012 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show
(Award in the Scholarly Illustrated category at the Book, Jacket & Journal Show American Association of University Professors 2012-06-11)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard" accompanies a terrific exhibition currently up at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, but originating at the Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands. The show focuses on the paintings and photographs of seven (plus one. sort of) European artists of the Impressionist/Post-Impressionist period--Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Felix Vallaton, George Beitner, Henri Evenepoel, and Henri Riviere. All of them, at sometime around the end of the 19th Century, became interested in the newly invented and commercially available hand-held camera. Their use of cameras was often personal, in much the same way that today we record family events, hanging out with friends, vacations, etc. But they also took photos of their models, still-life setups and other potential subjects for paintings. Whatever the subject or purpose, it's clear as you walk through the exhibit and/or look through this sizable book/catalog that the possibilities offered by the camera for composition and spontaneity had a real impact on the paintings of these artists.

The exhibition and book juxtapose the paintings and photos of each of the artists in very instructive combinations. What was particularly interesting to me was the personal side of each man that was revealed through his choice of photographic subject and composition. It's easy to overlook the human side of these artists as we admire the amazing artwork that they produced.

One special discovery for me in the exhibition/book is the work of Henri Evenepoel, a Belgian painter who lived and worked in Paris in the 1890s. His paintings are quite wonderful and his photographic work quite original and thoughtful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PreserveNY on November 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book for anyone interested in photography, art, and the intersection of the two. Today, when art is so closely intertwined with photography, it is easy to forget that they were once very separate. What interested me so much about this book were the new opportunities and inspiration that photography offered these artists, and the work that resulted during the turn of the twentieth century. Also, for someone who knows nothing about cameras, this book give me a greater understanding of how cameras work and how the innate characteristics of spontaneous photography (i.e. "snapshots") came to be reflected in painting, drawing and prints. All of this, of course, is incredibly well-documented in this beautifully illustrated and highly engaging new book. Very recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Hughes on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the catalogue for the exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (Oct. 2011 to Jan. 2012), The Philips Collection in Washington, D.C. (Feb. to May 2012), and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (June to Sept. 2012). Bonnard and Vuillard were almost exactly the same age, so the title is confusing until you realize that the "Bonnard to Vuillard" is an alphabetical progression, not a temporal one. In between the B and the V come five other artists active around the same time: George Hendrick Breitner, Maurice Denis, Henri Evenepoel, Henri Riviere, and Felix Valloton. The period considered is about 1888-1915, and at issue is how these representative artists, all of whom were initially active in other media and none of whom ever exhibited any of his photographs (these are all men), picked up the camera and responded to the new technology. There are a few introductory general essays on the camera itself, the marketing strategies of George Eastman, the new techniques, the sociology of the "amateur," etc.--and these are interesting enough--but the real substance of the catalogue is the essays (mostly between five and ten pages) on the seven artists and the portfolio of photographs, paintings and other media that follows each. These essays are by different people but they are all in the main very well done, and when one considers that Bonnard, for example, left an archive of thousands of photographs and Vuillard close to two thousand, one appreciates the sifting, sorting, and matching that the authors had to do to locate the artistically relevant ones. (Since the vast majority are the same kinds of everyday snapshots we all still take: friends at a party, a family picnic, the kids jumping rope, etc.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the comment of the other reviewer here that the photographs at least were an easier "read" in the catalogue than in the show. This was partly because many of the photos are actually amazingly tiny, and they have been mounted with white borders that seem literally 30 or 40 times the size. The effect is a little funny, but still quite charming. Yet you feel like someone has handed you the equivalent of a driver's license photo to look at with reverence for its tiny breadth. Still, the basic point of the show is easily seen in all the examples, and partly because many of the paintings are not literal riffs on the photos but seem to be an attempt to make life a lot better than it was. Always a good idea. While certainly charming, I say again, the effect is to make you think how blah and tedious most of these photos seem. There is an existential point about the possibly essential ennui of life in there, who knows? That cannot have been the objective, but there it is. The big exception is the the Breitner photos and painting of the woman lounging in a kimono. Those photos are uncanny, and the painting is the equal of the greatest Vuillard or even Matisse in a different vein. It is worth just going to the show for that incredible ensemble of works. Completely entrancing!
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