%% This is a multi-book review: SEE also the title "Fantastic Opera". %% Three 14-inch-tall albums, two of them presenting works by enduringly popular painters, seem tailor-made for libraries. Kallir on Grandma Moses and Wheelock on Vermeer are ideal matches, for they are recognized experts on their respective subjects. They contribute biocritical introductions and commentaries on the plates in their respective books. Grandma Moses, that quintessential naive painter, dazzles anew in the 25 busy yet serene domestic landscapes Kallir presents, and Vermeer's luminous Dutch interiors and snapshot-immediate portraits enrapture as powerfully as ever in the Wheelock book.Martinez and Driscoll serve up something new, the former's "posters" for great operas, which he originally made for his own amusement. A first-rate commercial artist, Martinez mixes stylistic traits of, most prominently, Picasso, Rockwell Kent, and Gustav Klimt in works that, many opera buffs may agree, capture the auras of their subjects near perfectly yet not literal-mindedly. For instance, his representation of Der Ring des Niebelungen--a dust-blue male nude unfolding both from a sunburst and from a crouched sleeping position--is an image of heroism and mystery, two of Wagner's immense music drama's most salient qualities, without a spear, a horned helmet, or Rhine maiden in sight. Driscoll adds well-informed commentaries on the 28 operas whose "posters" receive full-page colorplate status; a few more of Martinez's works appear in the margins of the notes (particularly delicious is the Egon Schiele^-like image for Berg's Lulu). ((Reviewed November 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Reproductions of the Dutch realist's paintings are accompanied by biocritical introductions and commentariesReview by Publisher Summary 2
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), one of the great masters of the Dutch Golden Age, is among the world's best-loved artists. The poetry of Vermeer's painting, with its brilliant colors, exquisite textures, and pearly light effects, is as vivid to us today as it must have been to people of the artist's own time. This beautiful book illustrates every known work by Vermeer in full color. Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., Curator of Northern Baroque Painting at the National Gallery of Art has written an illuminating essay on the artist and commentaries on the paintings.