As the end of the year draws near, we highlight some of the most beautiful books of 2019, which would make great gifts for the book-lover on your Christmas list…
This list includes picture books, graphic novels, and art / coffee-table books. Some of these books will appear on our Advent calendar of 2019’s Best Books (and no, we won’t reveal here which ones will be on that list)…
The Art of Looking Up surveys 40 spectacular ceilings around the globe that have been graced by the brushes of great artists including Michelangelo, Marc Chagall and Cy Twombly.
From the floating women and lotus flowers of the Senso-ji Temple in Japan, to the religious iconography that adorns places of worship from Vienna to Istanbul, all the way to bold displays like the Chihuly glass flora suspended from the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas: this book takes you on a tour of the extraordinary artworks that demand an alternative viewpoint.
History of art expert Catherine McCormack guides you through the stories behind the artworks – their conception, execution, and the artists that visualised them. In many cases, these artworks also make bold but controlled political, religious or cultural statements, revealing much about the society and times in which they were created. Divided by these social themes into four sections – Religion, Culture, Power and Politics – and pictured from various viewpoints in glorious colour photography, tour the astounding ceilings of these and more remarkable locations:
- Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy
- Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK
- Louvre Museum, Paris, France
- Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres, Catalonia
- Museum of the Revolution, Havana, Cuba
- Capitol Building, Washington, DC, USA
Four eight-page foldout sections showcase some of the world’s most spectacular ceilings in exquisite detail.
First and foremost, this is a visual feast, but also a desirable art book that challenges you to seek out fine art in more unusual places and question the statements they may be making.