Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Book Review: Holbein

Quick copy of photo of U.S. Grant
from his memoirs

This is a review of Norbert Wolf's Holbein (a Taschen Basic Art Series book).

I liked this book, in fact, I found it hard to put down.

There's alot of history going on around Holbein in this book. His life, like anyone else's was affected by events larger than himself. I don't know a tremendous amount about the 16th century myself, but I was able to follow along. Holbein spent his time split between Basel, Germany and London. So you hear a bit about the movers and shakers (as they were the ones commissioning portraits) of those neighborhoods.

On the whole though, this book is really just about Holbein and his work. The author gives you a good feel about how his work progressed, where he began and where he ended up. There are lovely reproductions of a variety of his work - the majority are his oil portraits, as they are the bulk of his work, but Wolf includes early religious paintings, illustrations, woodcuts, and portrait drawings.

It's a short read, mostly pictures - a nice trait for an art history book!

As an aside, I'm not sure that I would pay the Amazon price for this book, it is fairly short. However, as I picked it up for a tenth of their price, I consider it a very good value, because it is a good book!


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Jeanette said...

I love Holbein's work. He was a true draftsman. I'll have to have a look out for that book and browse next time I'm in Chapters.