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Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell: The Ultimate Collection Hardcover – November 8, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The art of Boris Vallejo is characterized by beautiful maidens, heroic men and fearsome monsters while the work of his wife Julie Bell is famous for a sense of color and dramatic composition which puts her paintings in a class by themselves.

As two of the most acclaimed fantasy artists working today, Boris and Julie have produced art for album covers, trading cards, posters and calendars for (in Boris' case) 30 years -- and have seen 15 books published celebrating their breathtaking work.

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell: The Ultimate Collection brings together all their greatest pieces throughout their careers, while also including some unseen new work. The book is arranged chronologically and divided into three main sections: early, middle and recent art. A narrative accompanies the paintings with captions for many of the pieces. The pages are also punctuated by quotes from Boris and Julie's peers in the fantasy art field and fans of their work, who pay homage to their art and comment on how their work has inspired them to become better artists.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell are two of the world's top fantasy artists. For more than forty years, husband and wife have worked both together and separately to produce outstanding work. Boris is best known as the visual creator of Conan the Barbarian, and Julie is famous for her bestselling illustrations of the X-Men for Marvel Comics. Their books include Imaginistix, Fabulous Fantasy Women, Twin Visions, and Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell: The Ultimate Collection. Boris has also published two collections of his photographic work, Bodies and Hindsight.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: HarperDes; First Edition edition (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006088102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060881023
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Scott Sandefur on January 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly cool anthology of the work of both of these really great artists. For those not familiar with their work, this is a fantastic chance to review most of their best work. For those already familiar, this is a chance to have that review at their finger tips.

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell provide very realistic looking, and often sensual or partially nude, human forms typically set in a Fantasy or Futuristic setting. Many of these also contain realistic representations of God-like and Demonic creatures. But, it is V&B's ability to capture the human form for which they really stand out. Their artistic representation of the sensual human form is second to none and this book provides the best compilation of their work I have ever seen.

Anyone who is truly interested in Sensual Artistry should absolutely have a copy of this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been an avid fan of Boris Vallejo's fantasy art ever since I discovered his beautiful work many years ago. I have purchased his annual calendars for numerous years and I have also bought several of his collections. This book (The Ultimate Collection by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell), who is also a fantastic fantasy artist and his wife, is one of the best collection of beautiful paintings I have ever owned.

This book is organized into four chapters. After a brief introduction chapter one covers the early period which has paintings such as In the Vampire's kiss, underworld, Javelin, Dragon Dance, Demon in the mirror and numerous other great paintings. Chapter two shows the middle period works such as Atlas, Night, Venus in the half shell, Love on the beach, Friends and more great paintings. The third chapter covers more fantastic paintings like Mistress of fire, Mistress of air, Tiger magic, Commandos, Sunshine break, Samurai, Desire, The prize and more wonderful fantasy art. The final chapter shows various photographs and sculptures of these two masters of fantasy art. These two masters are my absolute favorite fantasy artists.

In conclusion, if you are a lover of the most beautiful of the best fantasy art ever created, you will love this collection by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. I loved this collection.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: The Samurai Soul: An old warrior's poetic tribute).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a big art book collector and therefore wanted to find a good collection of Boris and Julie in one book. The Ultimate collection is definitely that it's almost 200 pages in length and has a very good selection of both Boris's and Julie's work probably focusing more on Boris as he is the stronger of the 2 artists. Definitely recommend to someone who does not want to purchase all the individual Boris and Julie collections.
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Format: Paperback
You can't question their fundamental competence and craft. Both render with consummate expression and precision. And both celebrate the potential for raw, physical power in the human animal, and how physical power becomes beauty. As bodybuilders themselves, they celebrate the "built" physique, and how it builds differently in the male and female of our species. Now, take all that skill and mastery of human beauty, and place it amongst dragons, mer-folk, and fantastical creatures of every stripe - that's them.

As a married pair of artists, their styles have many common elements, but have not wholly converged. There's no way I could certainly distinguish one's work from the other's. Even so, a few recurring differences catch my attention. Any image featuring child figures is likely to be Julie's, often drawn from her own sons as models. Her female figures might not always have Barbie-smooth butts or be the perkiest up front - you know, they might be like real ladies are. At the same time, her female figures' bras tend toward the minimalist. If they ever appeared in real life, they'd required serious skin adhesives, where Boris's show some semblance of structural plausibility.

This is fantasy art, though. The scenes, action, settings, and everything have something of the other-world about them. Even the human figures, for all their literal rendering, have been idealized. Maybe they're drawn closely from photos, but photos of bodybuilders already capture an ideal at the extremes of human range. And, let's get back to the basic technical skill. I can't compare their subjects or moods to the old masters of oil painting, but their literality of rendering lacks nothing.

-- wiredweird
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had hesitated to buy this book because I could see there are a LOT of duplicates of Boris early work from other books and calendars, but I decided to go ahead and add this to my collection anyway and I am NOT disappointed!! I got a nice historical look a Julie Bell's style and that was quite a treat! It's page after page of full color illustrations. Some interviews with the couple on how they approach their work and also photos of their sculptures... Definitely a *must have* for the Boris/Julie collectors!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extra ordinary images! With careful monitoring and selection, my grandchildren can view beautiful mythical creatures and courageous heroes (male and female and children are depicted courageously fighting mythical creatures) for inspiration. Demon In the Mirror has long been a favorite, now joined by Soft As Steel. Beautiful images of realistic color, courage, and beauty!
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