Museums & Collections: British & European
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National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain by Sandy Nairne (Author), Tarnya Cooper (Author) - Paperback: 288 pages; Publisher: National Portrait Gallery (April 28, 2015) Best Seller

This book presents a broad selection of the personalities that have shaped the last four centuries of British life, from Elizabeth I to David Beckham, from Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney, portrayed by artists as diverse as Hans Holbein, David Bailey, Joshua Reynolds and Paula Rego

Scottish Treasures: Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Scotland by National Gallery of Scotland – Paperback: 112 pages Publisher: National Galleries of Scotland (January 2004)


Masterpieces from the National Gallery (National Gallery Company) by Erika Langmuir Paperback: 88 pages Publisher: National Gallery London (February 28, 2007)

This handsomely designed and illustrated book presents thirty-six masterpieces from the National Gallery’s remarkable and unparalleled collection, introducing major artists through their most renowned works. Each of the featured paintings––which together outline the main innovations in art history––is discussed in fascinating detail. Among those included are Van Eyck’s Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, Piero della Francesca’s The Baptism of Christ, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, Dürer’s Saint Jerome, Michelangelo’s The Entombment, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, Bronzino’s An Allegory with Venus and Cupid, Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus, Rembrandt’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Poussin’s A Bacchanalian Revel before a Term of Pan, Velázquez’s The Rokeby Venus, Vermeer’s A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, Ingres’ Madame Moitessier, Monet’s Bathers at La Grenouillère, Degas’ Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, Cézanne’s Self Portrait, Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières, and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Beyond the Naked Eye: Details from the National Gallery (National Gallery London Publications) by Jill Dunkerton, Rachel Billinge – Hardcover: 80 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (January 25, 2006)

What admirer of a great Renaissance painting has not wished for the chance to approach it closely and examine each tiny detail? This unique book permits just such a close-up view of some of the most beautiful masterpieces in the National Gallery, London. Using photography taken through a microscope, this book shows details from paintings that would not normally be seen: a gem sparkling on a ringed finger, a minute insect, intricate brushwork, the texture of a painted surface.

Each of the macrophotographs in the book documents around a half-inch section of a Renaissance panel painting, revealing the smallest details in works by Lucas Cranach, Jan van Eyck, Fra Angelico, Raphael, and many others. The complete paintings are shown at the back of the book. Beautifully designed and illustrated, this jewel of a book is an irresistible treasure for every art lover.

Whistler, Sargent, and Steer: Impressionists in London from Tate Collections by Tate Britain (Gallery), David Fraser Jenkins, Avis Berman, Tenn.) Frist Center for the Visual Arts – Hardcover: 116 pages Publisher: Visual Arts (February 2002)

Arriving at their mature styles independently of one another, the renowned American expatriate painters James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent and the British artist Philip Wilson Steer are often credited with bringing modern art to London near the end of the 19th century. Inspired by the lively brushwork of painters from Velázquez to Monet, each of these artists developed a distinctive approach to Impressionism, utilizing spontaneously applied strokes of paint and closely modulated colors to caputre the effects of light as it played across the fingure and landscape.

This selection of masterworks by the three artists reveals the stylistic links that give evidence of their shared aesthetic lineage. Essays by Tate curator David Fraser Jenkins and art historian Avis Berman provide insight into their lives and works within the cultural milieu of fin-de-siècle London, including the experiences of the young and somewhat eccentric aesthete W. Graham Robertson.

Portrait Sculpture: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection C.1675-1975 by Aileen Dawson – Hardcover: 247 pages Publisher: British Museum Press (November 1999)


The British School (National Gallery London Publications) by Judy Egerton – Hardcover: 456 pages Publisher: National Gallery London (July 11, 1998)

Those unhappy with the small illustrations and brief captions in The National Gallery: Complete Illustrated Catalogue (LJ 3/15/96) should be delighted with this coverage of the 61 works currently representing the British School in the National Gallery, London. Part of their revised series of national school catalogs (the previous British School catalog is from 1959), this particular volume boasts an impressive format and numerous color illustrations. Artists include Boxall, Chantrey, Constable, Gainsborough, Hogarth, Hoppner, Jackson, Jones, Lawrence, Linnell, Reynolds, Sargent, Shee, Sievier, Stubbs, Turner, Wilson, Wood, Wright of Derby, and Zoffany. Egerton is a retired assistant keeper of the British School at the Tate Gallery, where many National Gallery paintings have been transferred over the years. Her conviction is that the public should have as much information as possible about the making and subsequent history of these artworks. Recommended for both public and academic libraries for the combination of updated scholarship with what she calls a "chattier" approach than the previous catalog. —Anne Marie Lane, American Heritage Ctr., Laramie, WY Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Masterpieces of Western Art - The National Gallery: A Private View Volume 2 Run Time: 162.0 minutes

This Fascinating and authoritative survey looks at the history of European art through the rich and varied collection of London's National Gallery. Eminent art critic Edward Mullins examine the styles, schools and key personalities of European art, from the alterpieces and frescoes of Duccio and Giotto to the innovative techniques of the Impressionists. VOLUME 2: Following the paths of developing schools of European art from the 16th to the 19th centuries, we explore the exuberant paintings of Rubens and Van Dyck. We can compare them with sensitive portraits of Northern vision. In the south, we are guided through the vivid works of El Greco and Goya, and can enjoy the expansive flowering of the Baroque, which is contrasted with Chardin's calm interiors and figures. We can then take delight—as Gainsborough, Constable and Turner evidently did—in the English landscape, and come face to face with portraits by Reynolds, before following the revolutionary canvases of Degas, through Monet's Impressionism, to the climax of Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

The National Gallery: 100 Plates in Colour (Volume I & II) Complete Set by P. G. Brockwell, M. W. and Lippmann, F. W. Konody (Author) – Hardcover Publisher: T.C. & E.C. Jack (1909)


Treasures of the Musee by Francoise Cachin (Introduction), Xavier Carrere D'Orsay – Hardcover, 204 pages (June 1995) Artabras

The Musee D'Orsay in Paris, formerly a grand train station, houses one of the world's finest collections of 19th-century art. Opened as a museum in 1986, its constant flow of traffic is a testament to a worldwide love affair with impressionist art. While the museum contains an extensive collection of drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture, and photography from 1848-1914, its true pride is its collection of paintings. Flip through pages of work by some of history's most celebrated artists: Ingres, Delacroix, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Rodin, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Toulouse-Lautrec. While the bulk of the 240 color illustrations are devoted to paintings, a fine selection of the museum's entire collection is reproduced here.

Paintings in the Uffizi & Pitti Galleries by Mina Gregori, Antonio Paolucci (Contributor), Marco Chiarini (Contributor) – Hardcover 1st Eng edition (December 1994) Bulfinch Press

Few collections can rival the Uffizi and Pitti galleries in the quality and pedigree of their holdings. The more than 800 fine color plates contained in this massive volume allow a dramatic visual introduction to these two Italian museums. Complementing the excellent reproductions are more than serviceable introductory essays, which underline the role of the Medici in originally shaping the collections and providing perceptive insights into the stylistic epochs and artistic personalities encompassed by these stellar repositories. The individual paintings are adequately identified and tersely discussed in terms of dating and acquisition. Although not as lavish in the quantity or the scale of their illustration, Caterina Caneva and others' The Uffizi: Guide to the Collections and Catalogue of All Paintings and Pitti Palace: Guide to the Collections and Complete Catalogue of the Palatine Gallery (both LJ 5/15/93) permit the less affluent general collection an attractive, if less spectacular, admission to these universes of pictorial genius. —Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Treasures of the Uffizi: Florence by Abigail Asher – Hardcover, 144 pages (October 1996) Abbeville Press, Inc.

Italy's most famous museum, the Uffizi in Florence, houses a spectacular collection of Renaissance art as well as works by later masters. In this grand tour of one of history's preeminent public art collections, the greatest works by early Renaissance artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael are presented, along with work by later Italians and other artists from throughout Europe. 216 full-color illustrations.

Treasures of the Louvre by Michel Laclotte, Musee Du Louvre (Corporate Author) – Hardcover: 279 pages

Publisher: Artabras Publishers; 1st Artabras Ed edition (September 1994)

Paintings in the Louvre by Lawrence, Sir Gowing, Musee Du Louvre, Sir Lawrence Gowing, Michel Laclotte (Designer) – Hardcover, 688 pages (June 1994) Stewart Tabori & Chang

Though many cities boast impressive art collections, Paris's Louvre is the art museum, and this 1987 title gathers more than 800 of its most famous items spanning 500 years of European art. LJ's reviewer found Gowing's text slightly prejudiced (LJ 1/88), but the hundreds of illustrations are simply stunning. As its original incarnation sold for $85, even at $50 this is a good buy. —Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Louvre: Portrait of a Museum by Nicholas D' Archimbaud, Nicholas D'Archimbaud, Bruno De Cessole, Nicholas D'Archinbaud, Federic Valloire – Hardcover, 336 pages (October 1998) Stewart Tabori & Chang

This sumptuous, 335-page book, which is illustrated with 650 original photographs by the author as well as hundreds of works of art in the Louvre's vast holdings (plus archival plans and documents), is the next best thing to being in Paris, at the great museum itself. This history of 600 years of royal patronage, architectural adjustment, and voracious collecting of sculptures, treasures, paintings, and antiquities is for the cultured traveler, the intelligent tourist, and the art-loving amateur. The picture captions are warmly written and discursive, often with only minimal details about size and materials, and the text is much too user-friendly for art historians. But there is a great deal of information here, which could be absorbed only through long hours of perusal. The book is divided into three main sections: Eight Centuries of History; Architecture; and The Louvre's Seven Departments, including painting, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian antiquities, sculpture, and the decorative arts. The building itself is treated to a long discussion of the kings, queens, and presidents who have tried and failed to have the last word on its appearance and use. Torn down, rebuilt, redesigned, and, finally, wrenched into the late 20th century by I.M. Pei's controversial glass pyramid, the Louvre is an evolving work of art. (This book looks like the sort a parent leaves open on a coffee table, attempting to edify the children, but note the two or three full-page reproductions of artworks depicting tumescent male organs.) —Peggy Moorman


The Hermitage: Masterpieces of the Painting Collections (Masterpieces S.) Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: Scala Publishers (September 9, 2004)


French Art Treasures At The Hermitage: Splendid Masterpieces, New Discoveries by Albert Grigor'evich Kostenevich, Frank Althaus (Translator) – Hardcover, 408 pages (Nov 1999) Harry N Abrams

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, holds one of the world's finest collections of French art from 1860 to 1950. Now, for the first time, art lovers can marvel at the full scope of the museum's magnificent holdings in this field, and read about how the collection was created. This extravagantly illustrated book showcases all of the Hermitage's celebrated Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks—by Monet, Renoir, Czanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, and others-as well as an astounding 60 works by Matisse and 40 by Picasso. But it also features a panoply of paintings by other artists—among them Bonnard, Vuillard, Dufy, and Derain-plus a trove of never-before-seen treasures, including works in storerooms, paintings on canvas backs, and five works-by Utrillo, Rouault, and others-acquired through a recent gift to the museum from Boris Yeltsin. 476 illustrations, 433 in full color, 6 gatefolds

The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum by Geraldine Norm – Hardcover, 400 pages 1st Ed edition (April 1998) Fromm Intlan

Geraldine Norman, the English cultural reporter and author, has written a scholarly page-turner about the political intrigue, murders, royal indiscretions, property seizures, heroic preservation efforts, wartime crises, obscenely prodigal spending, and equally obscene fiscal cutbacks that have shaped the long history of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It puts our millennial excesses in perspective to learn that the Russian empress Catherine the Great bought Old Master paintings at the rate of one every other day from 1762 to 1772, tapering down to one or two a week for the next couple of decades. Catherine dubbed her royal digs the "hermitage," or retreat, "where she could forget her rank and relax," writes Norman. (One of Catherine's rules: Visitors "shall be joyful but shall not try to damage, break, or gnaw at anything.") The empress was "gluttonous"—her own word—in her acquisition of art, buying 4,000 paintings, massive amounts of classical sculptures, porcelains and other decorative arts, the stray Michelangelo marble or two, and a national treasury's worth of engraved gems. Plus 38,000 books, not to mention four roomfulls of prints. And that's just part of the collection. Reading Norman's well-crafted tale of the great museum, a reader absorbs vast amounts of history and fiscal detail, while turning pages through machine-gun fire, lovers' trysts, clandestine international negotiations, and other thrills. —Peggy Moorman

British Art Treasures from Russian Imperial Collections in the Hermitage by Brian Allen (Editor), Larissa Dukelskaya (Editor), L. A. Dukelskaia (Editor) – Hardcover, 328 pages (November 1996) Yale Univ Press

More than two hundred years ago, Russian Empress Catherine the Great and some of her courtiers developed a taste for British art and collected some spectacular items including paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver, and Wedgwood ceramics. This sumptuously illustrated book tells the story of the acquisition of these treasures and of the cultural relations between Britain and Russia in the eighteenth century.

Hidden Treasures Revealed by Albert Kostenevich – Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 1998)

An astonishing feast of unknown masterpieces, this glorious album is a historic event that deepens our understanding of modern art. It documents an exhibition at Russia's Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, unveiling a large trove of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings?by Monet, Renoir, Matisse, Pissarro, Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, etc.?whose existence had been a carefully guarded secret for half a century. The paintings were seized from German private collections during WWII and transferred to the Hermitage's storage rooms. Many of these works have never been exhibited before, even in prewar times. Among the 74 full-page color plates are Van Gogh's psychologically charged White House at Night, painted six weeks before his death; Degas's Interior with Two Figures, a symbolic drama of alienation between the sexes; vibrant pictures made in Tahiti by Gauguin; and canvases by Daumier, Delacroix, Edouard Vuillard, Andre Derain. Kostenevich, a Hermitage curator, has provided an extensive commentary on each picture. BOMC main selection. —Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Great Art Treasures of the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (2 Volume Set) by Gosudarstvennyi Ermitazh (Russia), Yaroslav Domansky (Unk), Boris B. Piotrovsky (Designer), Mikhail B. Piotrovsky (Designer) – Hardcover: 2 pages
Publisher: Harry N Abrams; Slipcase edition (November 1994)

Sampling the treasures of one of the world's greatest art museums, this extraordinary, gorgeously illustrated two-volume slipcased catalogue of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, sweeps from Paleolithic mammoth ivory birds carved in Malta some 22,000 years ago to paintings by Rembrandt, El Greco, Raphael, Poussin, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Caspar David Friedrich, Picasso, Bonnard and Kandinsky. More than 1500 color plates-accompanied by informal commentaries and linked by short essays contributed by 90 Hermitage curators-showcase the museum's diverse collections in painting, sculpture (Rodin, Michelangelo, Bernini) and European drawings and prints (Durer, Degas, Redon, Kathe Kollwitz). Among the astonishing antiquities are idols and petroglyphs of ancient Russian forest tribes, mural paintings from Huns' burial mounds in Mongolia, Scythian clothes and utensils and Roman marble sculptures. Decorative and applied arts include textiles, mosaics, glassware, ceramics, jewelry, coins and arms and armor from Russia and around the world. Suslov is former director of the Hermitage. —Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Paintings in the Hermitage by Colin T Eisler – Hardcover: 649 pages Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; Reprint edition (October 1, 1995)


Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg Color, NTSC
Language: English, French, Spanish
DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000
Run Time: 500 minutes


The Prado by Santiago Alcolea Blanch, Richard-Lewis Rees (Translator), Angela patr Hall – Hardcover, 474 pages (December 1996) Abradale Press

One of Europe's finest museums, the Prado in Madrid boasts masterpieces by El Greco, Velazquez, Titian, Raphael, Rubens, Watteau and Gainsborough, to name a few. This tony album lets one trace Goya's years of exile in Bordeaux, stumble into Bosch's fiery allegorical world and confront the intense, defiant gaze of Durer's Self-Portrait . There are a few modernist works here (Picasso, Miro), but emphasis is on the 15th through 19th centuries, with paintings organized by school (Spanish, Italian, German, etc.) so that readers can follow the evolution of each national style. With 275 color reproductions plus essays on each school and a ponderous 102-page history of the museum by Spanish art historian Blanch, the album is studded with delightful surprises, including Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny (1838-1874), who must rank as one of Europe's great lyric painters. —Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc

The Prado Museum: Collection of Paintings by Museo Del Prado, Christopher Brown (Contributor), Francis Haskell, Sanchez, Alessandro Bettagno – Hardcover, 670 pages (November 1997) Harry N Abrams

If you've never been to the Prado Museum in Madrid, you're blissfully unaware of all you've been missing. One look at this exquisite catalogue of the collection and you'll be scouring the papers for cheap fares to Spain. Known for housing some of the finest works by Goya, El Greco, and Velázquez, the museum's scope and variety of work—Titian, Rubens, Bosch, Bruegel, and Poussin, among others—are truly amazing. Clear, informative essays by scholars of European art accompany sections covering the museum's collections of Spanish, Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, French, and English paintings. Each of the 861 color plates in this airy, elegant book jumps off the page and begs to be more closely examined. Most of the museum's works were either commissioned by the Spanish court or purchased by Spanish ambassadors, and the collection is a testament to their fine taste and vision.

The Prado Museum by Santiago Alcolea Blanch, Santiago Alcolea – Hardcover: 416 pages Publisher: Ediciones Poligrafa S.A. (January 15, 2003)

Renowned as the largest art gallery in the world, the Prado houses sculptures, drawings, coins, and other works of art--but it is its incomparable collection of paintings which has drawn fame worldwide. Included in its store of more than 8,600 paintings are works by members of the Italian, Flemish, Spanish, French, Dutch, and German schools. Albrecht Dürer, Anton van Dyck, Correggio, El Greco, Goya, Hieronymous Bosch, José de Ribera, Lucas Cranach, Nicolas Poussin, Pieter Brueghel, Rafael, Rembrandt, Rogier van der Veyden, Rubens, Sandro Botticelli, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Tiziano, Velázquez, and nearly every other master painter from the 12th to the 20th century. The history of the Prado began during the reign of Charles III, when he tried to create a single collection under one roof, but it did not really concretize as an institution until the reign of Fernando VII, under whom the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture was founded in 1819. King Fernando's death caused inheritance problems and endangered the unity of the collection, but with the disapearance of the Spanish monarchy, the museum became national property and was renamed the Prado Museum. Only a tenth of the Prado's immense collection of works are normally on show at any one time in the museum's two buildings: the Villanueva and the Casón del Buen Retiro, but this will soon change. Architect Rafael Moneo has designed a plan to join the existing neo-classical building with two nearby historical buildings, the cloister of the San Jerónimo church and a 17th-century palace, by buried passageways, and has included a 400-seat underground auditorium as well. Completion of the project is scheduled for October 2003.

Spirit of an Age: Nineteenth-Century Paintings from the Nationalgalerie, Berlin by Claude Keisch (Editor) – Hardcover: 192 pages Publisher: National Gallery London (May 11, 2001)

Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie was established in 1876 as a repository of contemporary German art. Like much of the city, it suffered under the Third Reich, but the reunified German capital is again asserting its status as a preeminent cultural capital and renovating this and other state museums. Once its neoclassic building is upgraded, the Nationalgalerie will be the place in Berlin to see the many forms of 19th-century German painting. Until then, 77 of the museum's finest paintings are traveling to America and the United Kingdom. This companion to the exhibition is made up of large reproductions accompanied by short but densely informative commentaries by the curator-authors. Most of the works selected are by artists rarely seen outside Germany, though others, such as the operatic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich and chiaroscuro still lifes by Adolph Menzel, will be more familiar to U.S. audiences. A chronology of German arts and history from 1800 to 1914 provides a solid armature for the general essays on 19th-century culture, which comprise the main text. A good primer on an important epoch; recommended for academic and larger public libraries. —Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Boudin to Dufy: Impressionist and Other Masters from the Musees Des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre by Musee Des Beaux-Arts Du Havre, Margot Heller (Editor), Tim Wilcox – Hardcover, Published by Scolar Press, 1995

The channel port of Le Havre played a key role in the development of Impressionist painting. It was there that Monet painted Impression, sunrise, the work that gave the movement its name. Many other artists of the period were associated with the town, from Monet's teacher Boudin to the colourful and exuberant favourite of a younger generation, Raoul Dufy.


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