Bibliotheca Universalis — Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe.
Hardcover, 14 x 19.5 cm, 1.15 kg, 712 pages
Showing 1–16 of 38 results
One of the leading lights of the Impressionist movement, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) remains a towering figure in art history with enduring public appeal. Sun-kissed, charming, and sensual, his work shows painting at its most lighthearted and luminous, while championing the plein air and color innovations of his time.
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was not cut out for finance. Nor did he last particularly long in the French Navy, or as a tarpaulin salesman in Copenhagen who did not speak Danish. He began painting in his spare time in 1873 and in 1876 took part in the Paris Salon. Three years later, he was exhibiting alongside Pissarro, Degas, and Monet.
In the latter half of the 19th century, in the verdant countryside near Aix-en-Provence, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), busily plied his brush to landscapes and still lifes that would become anchors of modern art. With compact, intense dabs of paint and bold new approaches to light and space, he mediated the way from Impressionism to the defining movements of the early 20th century and became, in the words of both Matisse and Picasso, “father of us all.”
When is a urinal no longer a urinal? When Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) declared it to be art. The uproar that greeted the French artist’s Fountain (1917), a porcelain urinal installed in a gallery, sent shock waves through the art world establishment that reverberate right through to today.
Painter, sculptor, writer, filmmaker, and all-round showman Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was one of the 20th century’s greatest exhibitionists and eccentrics. One of the first artists to apply the insights of Freudian psychoanalysis to art, he is celebrated in particular for his surrealist practice, with such conceits as the soft watches or the lobster telephone, now hallmarks of the surrealist enterprise, and of modernism in general.
With Salvador Dalí as its figurehead, the great ship of Surrealism traversed the turbulent seas of the early 20th century with sails billowing with dreams and desires. Inspired by the psychoanalytical practice of Sigmund Freud, the Surrealists championed the unconscious as the domain of truth, uninhibited by the standards or expectations of society.
Today, the works of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) are among the most well known and celebrated in the world. In Sunflowers, The Starry Night, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, and many paintings and drawings beyond, we recognize an artist uniquely dexterous in the portrayal of mood and place through paint, pencil, charcoal, or chalk.
From impossible staircases to tesselated birds, Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898–1972) crafted a unique graphic language of patterns, puzzles, and mathematics. Dense, complex, and structured by intricate principles, his work is at the same time decorative and playful, toying constantly with optic illusions and the limitations of sensory perception. For mathematicians and scientists, Escher is a mastermind. For hippies, he was the pioneer of psychedelic art.
Lucian Freud (1922–2011) was interested in the telling of truths. Always operating outside the main currents of 20th-century art, the esteemed portrait painter observed his subjects with the regimen and precision of a laboratory scientist. He recorded not only the blotches, bruises, and swellings of the living body, but also, beneath the flaws and folds of flesh, the microscopic details of what lies within: the sensation, the emotion, the intelligence, the bloom, and the inevitable, unstoppable decay.
The rebel hero of Abstract Expressionism, Jackson Pollock (1912–1956) careened through his life like a firework across the American art landscape. Channeling ideas from sources as diverse as Picasso and Mexican surrealism, he rejected convention to develop his own way of seeing, interpreting, and expressing.
In the work of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) lies an impact akin to a sudden acquisition of sight. His landscapes and seascapes scorch the eye with such ravishing light and color, with such elemental force, it is as if the sun itself were gleaming out of the frame.
In this TASCHEN Basic Art introduction to Impressionism, we explore the artists, subjects, and techniques that first brought the easel out of the studio and shifted artistic attention from history, religion, or portraiture to the evanescent ebb and flow of modern life.
Henri Rousseau (1844–1910) was a clerk in the Paris customs service who dreamed of becoming a famous artist. At the age 49, he decided to give it a try. At first, Rousseau’s bright, bold paintings of jungles and exotic flora and fauna were dismissed as childish and simplistic, but his unique and tenacious style soon won acclaim. After 1886, he exhibited regularly at Paris’s prestigious Salon des Indépendants, and in 1908 he received a legendary banquet of honor, hosted by Picasso.
The work of Henri Matisse (1869–1954) reflects an ongoing belief in the power of brilliant colors and simple forms. Though famed in particular for his paintings, Matisse also worked with drawing, sculpture, lithography, stained glass, and collage, developing his unique cut-out medium when old age left him unable to stand and paint.