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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 22 reviews
on May 15, 2015
Any review of this book would have to start by mentioning that it is part of Taschen Publisher’s “Basic Art” series. As such it is short at 96 pages (roughly a third of which consists of illustrations, primarily Durer’s most well-known works). Hence if one is looking for an academic tome this is not the book to purchase. The real question to ask is, how well does it serve as an introduction to Durer?

The main drawback of the book is that Durer was incredibly prolific. Hence the book is unable to touch upon many of even his most famous works. Books in the “Basic Art” series tend to do quite well when covering artists with a relatively short portfolios. Examples include those on Hieronymus Bosch or Brugel the Elder, both of whom had, roughly, 40 or so identified works associated with them. This is not surprising considering the restraints imposed by the short length of the books in the series. Durer, unfortunately for the format’s short length, produced hundreds of works. The book does a decent introduction at introducing the reader to some of his major works but, due to its limitations, that is about all it can do.

The book does a decent introduction at providing a biography of the artist (where born, his travels, what other artists inspired him, etc.). However it falls short on covering Durer’s unique “style” and how it differed from his contemporaries. The book also has very good illustrations. These are definitely not of a par found in museum quality books costing $50, $100 or more but then again the “Basic Art” series are priced at only about $10. For that price range the illustrations are unchallenged in quality.

In short, a decent introduction to the artist’s life and his most important works but nothing more than that.
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on May 2, 2015
This book is a great overview of the paintings of Durer. I found the quality of the reproductions to be good. The book concentrates mainly on paintings with only a few of his most famous engravings and woodcuts. It contains a good summary of his life, but omits the technical aspects of his painting technique. It is well worth the price for the pictures alone.
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on February 3, 2011
This expensive book has rich illustrations and a thoughtful text. Unfortunately they are at cross purposes. Norbert Wolf used recent scholarship (mainly German, which is not available the an English only reading public), in addition to his own opinion about paintings. Paintings are indeed his primary focus, despite the many illustrations of other works of art. Here, Wolf makes welcome comments about paintings that are buried in the catalog in small illustrations the obliterate his points, such as Durer's powerful 1500 "Self-Portrait." The details that fill numerous pages do not advance the text. Also, there are captions that are in error, even though Wolf presents the correct information in his text. The the text and images of Durer's "Apocalypse" -- given in full -- reverses their actual sizes. Prestel spent much time, and charges us for it, for a book in which the picture editor and the author clearly did not work together. Unfortunately, they wasted their time and our money. Panofsky is indeed better.
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on February 18, 2014
I teach art history and use this series as a teaching tool for group work in class. They work great! I love this series! I literally own an entire shelf of this publisher's titles. Excellent.
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on October 3, 2015
This biographical art book is detailed without being tedious. I found it fascinating.
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on November 6, 2013
I love the Taschen books on artists. They are well written and thoroughly illustrated. Nothing is more frustrating than reading about an artwork you cannot see. The Durer book is excellent but the writing is a bit stilted at times (perhaps it's a translation or English is the author's second language).
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on February 9, 2017
It is such a beautiful book.
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on February 6, 2017
Just as advertised.
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on April 7, 2015
Great book
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on July 5, 2014
Five Stars
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