I think it’s high time I beefed up my “Art Book” category on this blog. I’ve had one solitary book in this category for the past 8 months!
I’m going to divide my collection into two categories: art books for children and art books for display and reference.
The first book I would like to share with you is one for display. I love to have beautiful art to look at in my home. The easiest and most inexpensive way I’ve found to do this is to buy used art books and set them up on various book stands around the house. This makes it easy to change out the art displayed around the house to correspond with special occasions, a specific artist, or a style of art that we are currently studying. An even more economically feasible way to display art in your home is to buy art calendars right after New Year’s. They are usually 50% off or more and you can display different pages throughout the year without using the calendar pages at all. I have a stash of art calendars that I keep for just that purpose.
Now for the book I want to recommend. Every fall I display Millais: Portraits by Funnell, Warner, Flint, Matthew, and Ormond, in our entryway. John Everett Millais was a renowned Victorian portrait painter of the mid to late 1800’s. I found this book used and in excellent condition. The painting I have displayed is titled “Autumn Leaves”, painted in 1855-1856, and I display it every fall.
This book is a rare gem in that it is completely clean in terms of images. It has many full-page prints of his paintings in deep, vivid colors. I should probably mention that, though I scan the pages carefully before I recommend a book, I rarely read through the lengthy, plodding text of most art books. Occasionally, I will peruse the pages looking for information on a certain painting, but that’s it. I buy them for the pictures, not the “expert” critique that’s included.
Here are some more of John Everett Millais’ paintings that are included in this book. I absolutely LOVE his work! If you ever come across this book, or another book of Millais’ works, I highly recommend it. He was an exquisite portrait artist and his paintings are lovely.