Artists and their worlds : New art books

This month’s picks feature the worlds of artists and their influences — both the mundane and everyday, as well as the times they lived in. From the intimacy of objects arranged in still life, to the influence of their contemporaries and the wider world and time they lived in, there’s plenty to be discovered here. Have a browse!

Van Gogh and the artists he loved / Naifeh, Steven
“To us, Van Gogh’s paintings look utterly unique. His vivid palates and wildly interpretive portraits are unmistakably his — yet however revolutionary his style may have been, it was actually built on a strong foundation of paintings by other artists, both his contemporaries and those who came before him. Now, drawing on Van Gogh’s own thoughtful and often poetic comments about the artists he venerated, Steven Naifeh gives a gripping account of his deep immersion in their work.” (Catalogue)

Frida Kahlo : her universe.
“The iconic Mexican painter as seen through over 300 archival items, from her wardrobe to her personal art collection This compendium presents the rich diversity of themes, ideas, concepts and emotions generated around two fundamental, iconic figures of modern Mexico: painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera. More than 300 images from the archives of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City offer readers a glimpse of Kahlo’s distinctive wardrobe and the impressive collections of popular and pre-Hispanic art she assembled with Rivera, her connection with photography and the history of La casa azul, her beloved cobalt-blue home that now serves as the museum’s main building.” (Catalogue)

The radical potter : the life and times of Josiah Wedgwood / Hunt, Tristram
“From one of Britain’s leading historians and the director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, a scintillating biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the celebrated eighteenth-century potter, entrepreneur, and abolitionist” (Catalogue)

This dark country : women artists, still life and intimacy in the early Twentieth century / Birrell, Rebecca
“Lemons gleam in a bowl. Flowers fan out softly in a vase. A door swings open in a sparsely furnished room. What is contained in a still life – and what falls out of the frame? For women artists in the early twentieth century, including Ethel Sands, Nina Hamnett, Vanessa Bell and Gwen John, who lived in and around the Bloomsbury Group, this art form was a conduit for their lives, their rebellions, their quiet loves for men and women. Gluck, who challenged the framing of her gender and her art, painted flowers arranged by the woman she loved; Dora Carrington, a Slade School graduate, recorded eggs on a table at Tidmarsh Mill, where she built a richly fulfilling if delicate life with Lytton Strachey. But for every artist we remember, there is one we have forgotten; who leaves only elusive traces; whose art was replaced by being a mother or wife; whose remaining artworks lie dusty in archives or attics…” (Catalogue)

Verrocchio, sculptor and painter of Renaissance Florence
“A comprehensive survey of the work of this most influential Florentine artist and teacher. Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435-1488) was one of the most versatile and inventive artists of the Italian Renaissance. He created art across media, from his spectacular sculptures and paintings to his work in goldsmithing, architecture, and engineering. His expressive, confident drawings provide a key point of contact between sculpture and painting. He led a vibrant workshop where he taught young artists who later became some of the greatest painters of the period, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo di Credi, and Domenico Ghirlandaio. This beautifully illustrated book presents a comprehensive survey of Verrocchio’s art.” (Catalogue)