Apollo Magazine (UK)
Books Off the Shelf
Apollo’s selection of recently published books on art, architecture and the history of collecting
The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus: Art, Faith and Empire in Early Islam
Gingko Library, £60
To give an account of one of the oldest continually used religious sites in the world is no mean feat. To achieve his end, George employs sources ranging from poetry written at the time of the mosque’s construction in the eighth century to photographs taken by travellers in the th century.
The World According to Colour: A Cultural History
Allen Lane, £25
Taking seven colours, Fox examines the physical properties of these colours and the many meanings humans have ascribed to them – in a study that ranges from prehistory to the present day and draws on a host of different disciplines.
Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O’Grady and the Art of Language
Stephanie Sparling Williams
University of California Press, £39
The American conceptual artist Lorraine O’Grady has never been afraid to speak her mind. In this first major study of O’Grady’s career, Sparling Williams charts the use of direct language in the artist’s provocative performance pieces from the s on.
Jacobus Vrel: Looking for Clues of an Enigmatic Painter
Quentin Buvelot, Bernd Ebert, Cécile Tainturier (eds.)
ISBN 9783777435879 So little is known about this th-century Dutch painter of some works that his modest interiors and street scenes have often been attributed to Vermeer and De Hooch. This volume aims to dispel some of the mystery surrounding the artist.
Strange Bright Blooms: A History of Cut Flowers
Reaktion Books, £29
Examining all things floral from paintings, fashion and pressed flowers to decorative church hats and flower power, this generously illustrated book takes cuttings from one aspect of the human urge to tame and curate nature.
Danish Golden Age Painting
Yale University Press, £40
Despite Denmark’s disastrous defeat in the Napoleonic wars and subsequent bankruptcy, the arts flourished in the first half of the th century, while painters such as C.W. Eckersberg and Christen
Købke avoided the wilder excesses of Romanticism to find freedoms of their own.