Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Ronni Baer, Henk van Nierop, Herman Roodenburg, Eric Jan Sluijter, Marieke de Winkel, Sanny de Zoete.
The Dutch Republic in the 17th century was home to one of the greatest flowerings of painting in the history of Western art. Freed from the constraints of royal and church patronage, artists created a rich outpouring of works that circulated through an open market to patrons and customers at every level of Dutch society. The closely observed details of daily life captured in portraits, genre scenes and landscapes offer a wealth of information about the possessions, activities and circumstances that distinguished members of the social classes, from the nobility to the urban poor. The dazzling array of paintings gathered here--by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Gerard ter Borch, as well as Rembrandt and Vermeer--illuminated by essays from leading scholars, invites us to explore a vibrant early modern society and its reflection in a golden age of brilliant painting.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Al Miner, Yoav Rinon. Interview by Ronni Baer.
History Repeating is the first comprehensive survey of the Israeli-born photographer and video artist Ori Gersht (born 1967). This richly illustrated book presents the best of Gersht’s achingly beautiful images, and explores how he intertwines spectacles of painterly and narrative imagery with personal and collective memory, metaphysical journeys, contextualized spaces and the history of art and photography. Be it in the scars left on the sunlit yet war-torn buildings in Sarajevo, the white noise of his train journey to Auschwitz, or the clearing of trees in a forest that once stood witness to mass murder in Ukraine, Gersht’s vision bridges a history that is full of violent horror and a world of emergent, transcendent beauty. From the radiant optical glow of pollution in the atmosphere to his freeze-frame shots of shattering floral arrangements frozen by liquid nitrogen, Gersht’s calm is one that comes after the storm. In his 2010 series of Japanese landscapes, the ghostly visual static of cherry-blossom petals echo the militarism and sacrificed youth of World War II and the more recent nuclear fallout of Fukushima, but in their own extreme transience, they also manage to embody the possibility of spiritual renewal. History Repeating demonstrates the thin line between beauty and brutality and the sublime draftsmanship behind history’s various traumatic scars. History repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as unexpected beauty.
Published by MFA Publications. Edited by Ronni Baer, Sarah Schroth. Text by Laura Bass, Antonio Feros, Rosemarie Mulcahy.
Philip III (1578-1621), so often dismissed in favor of Philip II and Philip IV, actually presided over an era of crucial artistic development in Spain. His reign was a time of cultural and political vitality for the Spanish monarchy, as the king and his court, having successfully maintained a peaceful foreign policy in Europe (the “Pax Hispanica”), ushered in a style of grandeur where fabulous gala celebrations, building campaigns, picture collecting, recreation and travel were the order of the day. Accordingly, the art of this period flourished, witnessing the birth of a naturalistic style that was variously reflected in a new attention to detail and spatiality in court portraiture, the thriving of still life, the humanizing of saints and the development of polychrome sculpture. Focusing on the careers of the mature El Greco and the young Velázquez, which bookend this exciting period of resurgent court culture, this volume also investigates the works of lesser-known but highly talented artists who exerted a critical influence on the development of Spanish painting. Essays by several noted scholars provide indispensable perspectives on the historical, literary, cultural and religious context in which these artists lived. The product of 20 years of research and illustrated with a sumptuousness befitting its subject, El Greco to Velázquez is sure to become a standard reference for enthusiasts of Spanish art.