German art book publisher Taschen delivers yet another stately addition to their Complete Works series of exuberantly sized artist monographs, this time featuring the master Spanish artist Velázquez.
One of the most celebrated portrait painters of all times, Diego Velázquez’s ( 1599-1660 ) legacy of work went on to influence many other great artists like Manet, Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, John Everett Millais and more.
This lush volume spans over 400 pages and includes also a full catalogue of the artists’ works. The large format of the book and superb print quality really showcases Velázquez’s paintings to great effect. This is aided in part by the new photography of some recently restored work.
(above & below left) The many enlarged pieces found throughout the book hold up very well in clarity, sharpness and detail. These blow-ups offer a more intimate look at sections of a larger painting that you otherwise might not scrutinize.
(above) Portrait of Innocent X, painted around 1650. During my trip to Rome a few years back I saw the original in Galleria Doria Pamphilj and was utterly transfixed by the piercing gaze of the subject matter. The painting also inspired Francis Bacon’s to create his series of “screaming popes”.
(above & below) Velázquez’s most famous painting and defining masterpiece, Las Meninas. It was the artist’s ingenuity to compose the painting in such a way that any viewer of this piece inhabits the position of the King & Queen, whose reflections are seen in the mirror found in the background the painting.
Just like the other art books in the Complete Works series ( Gustav Klimt, Hieronymus Bosch ) the volume comes in a gorgeously designed, heavy duty cardboard carrying case that protects the book during shipping and is perfect for storage as well.
Taschen has once again created an art book of exceptional quality, a great celebration of Velázquez’s sublime body of work. This huge volume is quite likely the best Velázquez art book out out there, and I give it my highest recommendations.
A big word of thanks to Mark and Taschen for providing me with this copy of the book for review.
“Velázquez : The Complete Works″ art book details :
– Dimensions – 3 x 12 x 16 inches (comes with cardboard carrying case)
– Hard cover, 416 pages
– Full color
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