Lovely book. The prints are of excellent quality, and Broido provides commentary on the opera, composer, and artist, as well as an introduction to ope...moreLovely book. The prints are of excellent quality, and Broido provides commentary on the opera, composer, and artist, as well as an introduction to opera and posters from the time period. Most of the posters are from less well known operas. I would have liked to see some of the more famous ones as well as the obscure selections. It's a shame Broido has not put together a book of Italian opera posters as well!(less)
The Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel, has inspired artists for nearly 1,000 years. The subject of this book is a particular series of 17th centu...moreThe Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel, has inspired artists for nearly 1,000 years. The subject of this book is a particular series of 17th century paintings, and magnificent works they are. Known as the Burke albums, they are attributed to Mitsuoki Tosa, but may have actually been painted by another artist from the Tosa school. But that is an argument for art historians, and is not relevant to the beauty of the paintings. Murase talks about this theory, as well as giving further information about the novel, Murasaki Shikibu, and the Burke albums, in the introduction.
In this series, there is one painting for each of the novel's 54 chapters. (Genji, the titular character, doesn't appear in all of them; he dies around chapter 41 and the story continues with his son's exploits.) Murase summarizes the events that take place in each chapter and points out certain details in the painting corresponding to a particular scene. For those who don't want to read the novel, which can be over 1,000 pages in English translation, this is an excellent book: one can follow the story quite easily, without being overwhelmed. Murase and the publishers even went to the extent of making the book the actual size of the paintings, which is why it's rather oddly shaped. The Tale of Genji: Legends and Paintings is a wonderful book for anyone interested in Japanese literature or art.(less)
There are no doubt many volumes about Arthurian art in general, but the Lupacks are probably the first to focus solely on book illustration. This book...moreThere are no doubt many volumes about Arthurian art in general, but the Lupacks are probably the first to focus solely on book illustration. This book covers the major 19th, 20th, and 21st century artists who illustrated Arthurian books, usually the classics like Idylls of the King or Morte d'Arthur. Biographical information is given about each artist, and in the case of the 21st century ones, much of the source material is interviews or communication with the artist. Sometimes the Lupacks go off topic, particularly at the end of each chapter, discussing other artists who were influenced by the one in question, which is somewhat annoying when they had nothing to do with Arthurian art, but does provide greater exposition of artistic movements and such. My primary complaint with this book is the size of the font, which is very small and may be challenging for some readers.(less)
Migel selected some very beautiful prints to include in this book, though I might wish for more in color. She provides a brief introduction to Romanti...moreMigel selected some very beautiful prints to include in this book, though I might wish for more in color. She provides a brief introduction to Romantic-era ballet and some of the important figures from that time period, as well as a postscript with some notes about certain prints and commentary on some of the printmakers. It is unfortunate that Migel did not choose to provide more information on each print, because the ones she did expand upon have quite interesting stories. But overall, this is a very nice book, an excellent choice for anyone interested in ballet or 19th century art.(less)