Best textbooks of 2021: Visible arts

Yoshiko Yap

Hokusai: 30-six Views of Mount Fuji
by Andreas Marks, Taschen £125

The year’s most beautiful art quantity celebrates Hokusai’s large wave, snow-capped peak, travelers on the bridge, not just as beloved photographs but for the beautiful craft of woodblock printing. An object of high-class, tactile delight — Japanese traditional binding, uncut paper, silken box with wood closures — increased by insightful commentary.

The Renaissance Cities: Artwork in Florence, Rome and Venice
by Norbert Wolf, Prestel £99, $140

A common tale — the Renaissance emerging in competitive Italian city states — gets fresh, engrossing, contemporary, in this fusion of artwork heritage and urban geography: general public vs . private spaces, Florentine “intellectual agility” tipping into avenue violence, Rome reinventing itself, Venice’s textile and glass industries spurring radiant pigments. The pictures of paintings, structures, and the cities nowadays are beautiful.

Spring Are not able to Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy
by Martin Gayford, Thames & Hudson £25

Far extra than an accompaniment to the lovely exhibition at the Royal Academy in the summer time, this is an engaging history of existence and considered during Hockney’s lockdown 12 months in his French cottage: upbeat, offbeat reflections on art and nature, and also on food stuff, fame, ageing, opera and fairy tales.

Publications of the 12 months 2021

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Enterprise by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Wednesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Thursday: Fiction by Laura Fight
Friday: Record by Tony Barber
Saturday: Critics’ selection

How Pictures Grew to become Present-day Art: Inside an Inventive Revolution from Pop to the Electronic Age
by Andy Grundberg, Yale £30, $40

Images was painting’s poor relation for most of its existence but all around 1960 it commenced to conquer the art globe now photographic pictures have “in influence replaced reality as we when realized it”. Grundberg, former New York Instances photography critic, is a vivid, opinionated, authoritative tutorial to the medium’s past and present.

The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece
by David Ekserdjian, Yale £60, $75

Renaissance scholarship life! Extraordinarily, this is the to start with overview of the altarpiece, the period’s quintessential, exclusive artwork kind. Ekserdjian brilliantly outlines the broad picture, but the devil is in his information: how variously artists, well-known and obscure, enlivened and energised this iconic structure, balancing narrative and invention, clarity and thriller.

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