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Tiepolo Pink Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 20, 2009


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307267660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307267665
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Calasso is an archaeologist of myths, dreams, and impressions and a superb interpreter and scintillating stylist. In his latest foray into the realm of the imagination, he excavates one of the most persistent patches of terra incognita on Planet Art, a series of 33 etchings by Venetian rococo painter Tiepolo (1696–1770). Renowned for his graceful and radiant frescoes and paintings of the gods and goddesses of Olympus and allegorical fantasies, Tiepolo is remembered as a happy soul who worked rapidly with esprit. How, then, to explain his ironically titled Capricci and Scherzi (two types of whimsical musical compositions), which consist of phantasmagoric drawings of “psychic density” and dark implication? Others have tried, but none have Calasso’s erudition, wit, and intellectual agility. In this beautifully illustrated study, Calasso, like Tiepolo, makes his effort look easy as he decodes the motley crew of animals, mythical beings, and humans that gather to perform grave rituals in Tiepolo’s strange and brooding prints, metaphysically rich images involving the act of seeing and “lofty instruction” that occupy the hidden heart of Tiepolo’s glorious and covertly intense lifework. --Donna Seaman

Review

“Calasso has written a brilliant, eccentric, provocative, annoying, and thoroughly splendid celebration of a great painter.” —John Banville, The New Republic

“The next best thing to visiting Europe and seeing the painter’s work . . . Calasso is one of the most demanding and intoxicating critics writing today.” —Los Angeles Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lauriecacao on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roberto Calasso is not light reading, but he does have a consistent dry wit and does not pull punches in social critique.

I've read several of his books in English and always feel like Hermes is guiding me on obscure and mystical journeys, showing all sorts of undreamed-of wonders which I totally apprehend while in his company but which afterward often feel as though they are a fleeting dream. This isn't meant in any sort of derogatory way. I love those journeys, but any attempt on my part to analyze or literally describe would be a gross injustice. I just save his books, among the few, for rereading more than once.

Hope that gives someone a sense of his writing. He is focused on the deep and unnameable behind the visible, yet I sense he is well-grounded. Tiepolo Pink is overtly more focused or specific than Ka, Cadmus & Harmony, Literature, but somehow only in a holographic sense. Enough inarticulation. . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Patel on December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Calasso's exuberant love for his subject spills over once more, though this time we've entered the world of the visual arts and the question of what Tiepolo was trying to do with several occult sketches.

As always, Calasso's work, in my opinion, can be approached with ignorance but you will not remain ignorant for long. The passion with which he writes makes you want to look up more information, to search out his references.

The book takes us on a journey of artists in Tiepolo's time, the use of color and light, the occult and biblical, and how this relates to themes he has discussed about sacrifice to the Divine Other in previous works.

Fans of Calasso will not be disappointed. I went in knowing nothing about art history and was entranced and quite happy when I was able to pick out Tiepolo pieces in the museum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glenn J. Shea on November 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I love Tiepolo. To some of my art-fancying friends, as well as to many a critic of painting, this is a sign of frivolity, if not moral degeneration; but to others, just the mention of Tiepolo's name provokes a smile, even a grin, of shared delight. Whose colors are like Tiepolo's, with their cool, almost pastel surfaces, their outré tonal combinations, the sudden intrusions of dark and of bursting light? Above all, whose compositions are like his, with cherubs flying and falling, as if gravity had snapped to after a moment of inattention? The kind of painter Tiepolo is means that an arid, academic or tedious book about him would be a special offense; in TIEPOLO PINK (Knopf, 2009) the Italian writer Roberto Calasso approaches the eighteenth-century Venetian painter as the final European master of sprezzatura--he calls him "the last breath of happiness in Europe"--and explores his work with affection, insight and a marvelous congruence of temper. Sprezzatura Castiglione characterizes as "a certain nonchalance that may conceal art and demonstrate that what ones does and says one does without effort and almost without thought." For him it was the "complete contrast" to affectation; I've seen it translated as "effortless mastery". In Tiepolo's exuberant and airborne scenes there is often a drama afoot just a bit beyond easy explanation, and Calasso approaches this mystery--Tiepolo's "particular way of meeting the challenge of form"--not just via the ceilings and canvases but by the lesser known etchings, the Capricci and Scherzi. Throughout he defends Tiepolo against the dispraises of Longhi and other critics with just the right gravity of manner--the courtesy of erudition and the joy of complete involvement. TIEPOLO PINK is a handsome book, a grave delight, and no poor example of sprezzatura itself. Castiglione's last word on the topic: "From this, I believe, does much grace arrive." Brava.

Glenn Shea, from Glenn's Book Notes at www.bookbarnniantic.com
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard J .Collins on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tiepolo Pink??? I never even noticed it before. This book is an eye opener. I have dealt in paintings for the past 40 years and thought I was observant and astute. Calasso takes the reader for a trip through the mind of Tiepolo like you can't even imagine.
A wonderful book. I plan on reading it again.
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7 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Linda E. Mccarthy on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Up to the author's best. He manages to put meat on any plate he serves. For spice we get a very chal-l
enging take on deep seated and ancient spirituality. If you wait it out the layer upon layer is just so rewarding.
This is cultural history as it should be written.
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