- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Antique Collectors Club Dist; Tra edition (June 30, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1851497331
- ISBN-13: 978-1851497331
- Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.9 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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William Bouguereau: His Life and Works Tra Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
William Bouguereau : His Life and Works is a thick tome of an art book documenting the French academic painter's biography and lifetime of work, with over 500 pages of art work covering some 750 paintings in total.
The biggest draw of this book is the huge amount of reproductions collected, art work presented are mostly printed on individual pages and not spread across 2, which retains the integrity of the art work and allows for great appreciation. Colors can be a little over saturated and punchy, and some can be more crisp, but overall the quality is still great.
Technical note : There are numerous customer reviews on Amazon ( dated 2011 ) noting the weak binding used for the book, but this doesn't not seem to afflict the 2014 edition. My own observation is that the spine can be thicker for a book of such substantial size to make the build sturdier, but I don't consider it a "fatal" flaw; certainly not serious enough to pass up such a great collection of Bouguereau's work.
On another note, Amazon's item page lists the book's page count at 400 pages, which is incorrect. The book is 530 pages.
At the time of writing this review I do not believe there are any other art books on Bouguereau that comes close to the scope and sheer quantity of art work covered in this huge volume. My highest recommendations.
While I do not have a copy of my own, I did get the opportunity to thumb through one and in that particular specimen an entire block of pages had completely fallen apart from spine - even though the rest of the volume was brand new. At the time I thought this was a singular defect but now it (possibly?) appears to be endemic amongst the entire production run. I am curious how those 5 star reviewer's copies are holding up?
Aside from the questionable quality of the book's construction (which should never have been an issue for an item in this price range) I did not find anything special about the overall quality of the images either. Now, I can only pretend to grasp the difficultly in compiling a complete collection of Bouguereau's finished works - but for this reviewer's tastes - I thought this catalog contained far too many images that were either too small, in black and white, or contained colors that were off the mark (ie. too yellow/orange). I am told many catalog raisonnés suffer from this problem and one should be thankful to have the option of purchasing this book, but from the nauseatingly self-aggrandizing posts by the authors on Art Renewal Center you would think this was perhaps one of the greatest art history projects ever committed to paper. And if their investment piece hinting at the secondary market value of this book has any grain of truth in it, it is that a near-mint copy of this book with original binding will certainly carry a premium over all others.
The book cover that is used is a black canvas textured paper. It's imitation to the black, canvas like cloth used in Singapore to bind the John Singer Sargent books or the two volume set of N.C. Wyeth. The Bouguereau book is heavy and with more than 500 pages the cover should be made with sturdier material that can withstand the size and weight.
2014 Update - Folks, don't hesitate to purchase this newest edition. At the price it's being offered at it's a steal. I bought my first set for $300 and never regretted it. I wish the price was this low when I made my purchase. Seriously, if you are a Bouguereau fan (and who in their right mind isn't) this is a no-brainer. Don't bother asking why they're practically giving these books away, just place your order NOW! Thanks Amazon & Thanks Antique Collectors Club.
BTW - I just did a side by side comparison between these two editions and I can't see any difference at all. They are identical in every respect. I bought an extra set as a gift it was such a good deal!
BTW (part 2) Looks like the price took a big jump. When I re-ordered this two vol. set it was $120.00. I don't know if it will go back down again?