Beautiful Art Books to Inspire Creativity
Lately, I have been feeling in an absolute creative rut but nothing sparks creativity quite like a beautiful piece of artwork. Typically I would get my fix by visiting local galleries or museums but given the current circumstances, I have not been able to visit my beloved spots. However, there are so many amazing books that display some of the world’s best art pieces and you can soak them in right in the comfort of your own home! Here are a couple of my favorites.
The Louvre is the world's most visited art museum, with 8.5 million visitors annually, and houses the most celebrated and important paintings of all time. For the first time ever, The Louvre: All the Paintings collects all 3,022 paintings currently on display in the permanent collection in one beautifully curated volume.
Organized and divided into the four main painting collections of the museum— the Italian School, the Northern School, the Spanish School, and the French School— the paintings are then presented chronologically by the artist's date of birth. Four hundred of the most iconic and significant paintings are illuminated with 300-word discussions by art historians Anja Grebe and Vincent Pomarède on the key attributes of the work, what to look for when viewing the painting, the artist's inspirations and techniques, biographical information on the artist, the artist's impact on the history of art, and more.
As the first large survey published in 30 years, and the first large general survey of the Met's paintings collection it is the first to celebrate the greatest and most iconic paintings of one of the largest, most important, and most beloved museums in the world.
This impressive book’s broad sweep of material, all from a single museum, makes it at once a universal history of painting and the ideal introduction to the iconic masterworks of this world-renowned institution. Lavish color illustrations and details of 500 masterpieces, created over 5,000 years in cultures across the globe, are presented chronologically from the dawn of civilization to the present. These works represent a grand tour of painting from ancient Egypt and classical antiquity and prized Byzantine and medieval altarpieces, to paintings from Asia, India, Africa, and the Americas and the greatest European and North American masters.
Painter, sculptor, writer, and filmmaker, Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was one of the century’s greatest exhibitionists and eccentrics―and was rewarded with fierce controversy wherever he went. He was one of the first to apply the insights of Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis to the art of painting, approaching the subconscious with extraordinary sensitivity and imagination.
This publication presents the artist’s painted oeuvre. After many years of research, Robert Descharnes and Gilles Néret finally located the paintings of this highly prolific artist. Many of the works had been inaccessible for years―in fact so many that almost half the illustrations in this book had rarely been seen in public.
No other artist, apart from J. M. W. Turner, tried as hard as Claude Monet (1840–1926) to capture light itself on canvas. Of all the Impressionists, it was the man Cézanne called “only an eye, but my God what an eye!” who stayed true to the principle of absolute fidelity to the visual sensation, painting directly from the object.
It could be said that Monet reinvented the possibilities of color. Whether it was through his early interest in Japanese prints, his time as a conscript in the dazzling light of Algeria, or his personal acquaintance with the major painters of the late 19th century, the work Monet produced throughout his long life would change forever the way we perceive both the natural world and its attendant phenomena. The high point of his explorations was the late series of water lilies, painted in his own garden at Giverny, which, in their approach toward almost total formlessness, are really the origin of abstract art.
This biography does full justice to this most remarkable and profoundly influential artist, and offers numerous reproductions and archive photos alongside a detailed and insightful commentary.
The Second Edition of The Art Book is a substantially expanded and updated version of the hugely successful original. Introducing 100 new artists selected from all periods and from across the globe, the new edition includes for the first time leading figures from the fields of photography and performance art. Works and text entries for a selection of artists from the original have also been updated.
Winner of the Illustrated Book of the Year award in 1994, The Art Book has been an outstanding success and has become a well–known landmark in the art book world. Now published in over 20 different languages and in mini, midi and hardback formats, it has received rave reviews from numerous newspapers and magazines and has made many appearances on the bestseller lists. Complemented by The 20th Century Art Book, The American Art Book, and now The 21st Century Art Book, its unique approach brings art alive. An A–Z guide to the greatest painters and sculptors from medieval to modern times, it debunks art–historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Each artist is represented by a full–page color plate of a definitive work, accompanied by explanatory and illuminating information on the image and its creator. Glossaries of artistic movements and technical terms are included, making this a valuable work of reference as well as a feast for the eyes.
By guest editor,
Alicia (IG: @thebookishpuff)
About the guest editor:
Alicia is currently the resident blogger over at The Bookish Puff and aspiring author. Raised under the southern sun she is a true eternal optimist with a deep love of history, stories, and a shameless addiction to caffeine. When she’s not on the internet writing about books, you can find her baking up a storm in her kitchen, watching true crime documentaries, sipping on coffee while chatting with friends, or getting lost in nature. She currently lives with her boyfriend and two crazy cats in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.