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ART HISTORY

PUBLISHER
Siglio

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8 x 10 in. / 160 pgs / illustrated throughout.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2016 p. 44   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781938221125 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $50.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 01/05/16–04/11/16

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SIGLIO

Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living”

By Ricky Jay Whose Peregrinations in Search of the “Little Man of Nuremberg” are Herein Revealed


Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living”Matthias Buchinger (1674–1739) performed on more than a half-dozen musical instruments, some of his own invention. He exhibited trick shots with pistols, swords and bowling. He danced the hornpipe and deceived audiences with his skill in magic. He was a remarkable calligrapher specializing in micrography—handsome, precise letters almost impossible to view with the naked eye—and he drew portraits, coats of arms, landscapes and family trees, many commissioned by royalty. Amazingly, Buchinger was just 29 inches tall, and born without legs or arms. He lived to the ripe old age of 65, survived three wives, wed a fourth and fathered 14 children. Accompanying the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Inventive Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay, the book is a cabinet containing a single, multifaceted wonder, refracted through author Ricky Jay’s scholarship and storytelling. Alongside an unprecedented and sumptuously reproduced selection of Buchinger’s marvelous drawings and etchings, Jay delves into the history and mythology of the "Little Man," while also chronicling his encounters with the many fascinating characters whom he meets in his passionate search for Buchinger.
Ricky Jay is considered one of the world’s great sleight-of-hand artists. His career is further distinguished by his accomplishments as author, actor and historian of "unusual entertainments." He has appeared in films directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Gus Van Sant and David Mamet. His Jay’s Journal of Anomalies and Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women were New York Times "Notable Books." The subject of the documentary Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practices, Jay is the only conjurer to be profiled in the PBS series American Masters.

Featured image is reproduced from Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living”.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The New York Times

Charles McGrath

The magician Ricky Jay, considered by many the greatest sleight-of-hand artist alive, is also a scholar, a historian, a collector of curiosities. Master of a prose style that qualifies him as perhaps the last of the great 19th-century authors... his most enduring interest is a fellow polymath, an 18th-century German named Matthias Buchinger.

The New York Times

Ken Johnson

Matthias Buchinger must have been some kind of genius.

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

It’s a delicious read, spiced by anecdotal encounters with the author’s fellow-obsessives in a field as deep as it is narrow. I had never heard of Buchinger before the book arrived in the mail. The improbable matter and elegant manner of the writing put me in mind of Borges.

The New York Review of Books

Christopher Benfey

An appealing short book on Buchinger, with excellent illustrations.

Los Angeles Times

Jim Ruland

[An] impeccably designed book... Truly awe-inspiring.

The Paris Review Daily

Erik Morse

In the way it exhumes a pre-Enlightenment eccentric, Jay’s The Greatest Living German provides a much-needed introduction to a valuable, lost wunderkammer. But Jay’s work is also a polymathic replica of the zeitgeist of languages and wonders in which Buchinger lived and worked.

Bookforum

Howard Hampton

A wryly agile, affectionate, and deeply tantalizing inquiry into the obscure legacy of an almost unimaginable subject... Amply and handsomely illustrated.

Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living”

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/8/2016

Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living” By Ricky Jay

Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living” By Ricky Jay

Congratulations Siglio Press, publisher of magician Ricky Jay's extraordinary history of Matthias Buchinger (1674-1739), a 29-inch-tall, legless, handless entertainer who amazed eighteenth-century audiences by performing magic tricks, playing music on an array of instruments (many of his own invention), and producing a mind-boggling body of micrographic artworks that were the subject of a recent exhibition at The Met. Buchinger also married four times and fathered 14 children over the course of 65 years. In addition to major reviews in the New Yorker, New York Times, New York Review of Books and Los Angeles Times, this "sumptuous, scholarly, witty new book" was reviewed last weekend in the New York Times Book Review by esteemed fellow conjurer, TELLER. "Ricky Jay’s learned prose sparkles with humor and passion," TELLER writes. "And it’s easy to see why Jay fell so hard for Matthias Buchinger. That little man was a dynamo, a mystery, a real-world superhero — though we’re not likely to see him in a Hollywood blockbuster. Comic book super¬heroes have sex appeal, but very little sex. In comparison, the portly, legless Buchinger was demonstrably a stud." Featured image is a stipple engraving self-portrait of Buchinger (London], 1724), 7 ½ x 11 5/8 inches. continue to blog


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