Friday, December 5, 2008

Joan of Arc

One of my favorite paintings at the Met is Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien Lepage. It is the kind of painting you can truly look at forever. So imagine my happiness at coming across it in an issue of Art Instructor from the 1940s. What Art Instructor typically featured was a color repro of a masterpiece on the cover and then many tiny repros inside, which the teacher would cut up and then distribute in class. Of course these repros don’t begin to tell you about the immense detail in these paintings, but it’s particularly true for this one. The piece is so dense with spots of paint, it’s absolutely incredible.


Sheree Rensel said...

Where on earth did you find a copy of "Art Instructor" from the 40's? I just love these target pieces. You are doing such a great job on them. Keep it up!! Love looking at them.

Anonymous said...

There's a periodical shop here. Most of the stuff is recent and not very interesting but these magazines are great. I have also a Corot cover, a Rosa Bonheur, a Vermeer.

None of it is cheap like it once was though. There used to be a store here in Portland called Cal's Books that was a dream. Down to the basement you went which was full of old magazines, stacks and stacks. I bought fantastic Fortunes from the 40s for 50 cents each. That was the most I ever paid at that store.


namastenancy said...

We have something similar in SF; it's called "The Magazine Store" and I've bought fabulous art magazines there. The magazines (Apollo, Minerva, Arts and Antiques) cost $10-$15 new but the store sells them for .50! Now that's a mark down. I just wish that they also carried "Calligraphy Review" but the people who have that magazine don't see to ever want to sell it. So I cherry pick which issues I'm going to buy; at $15 a magazine, that is a lot of money adding up fast.

Anonymous said...

For photomontage I refuse to spend much. And I cut out of books as much as magazines. One way to get something cheap is to ask people who sell the expensive ones if they have mags with messed covers - or no cover at all. Then they are no longer really collectable.


CAP said...

Couldn't you just photocopy/scan really good pictures out of books and use them, instead of cutting up a book? (which I could never do)

Anonymous said...

Scans are terrible. They reduce everything down to the digital image, all in a similar brainwave. All variation is lost. A scan is like a postcard of a piece of art. Even when I scanned newspaper bits, so much was lost, so much of a certain reality and authenticity. I'm glad to have the option but it is in no way like the same thing.

I used to know a collage artist who began with the real source material. Early on he went digital. He was once quite original - that's no longer the case. It's all homogenous. Paper has some sort of soul, some kind of unique quality that I can see still in these scans but is really apparent in the real thing.

Also, the books I cut up are beyond interest to anyone - no covers for instance, pages already scribbled on by children, this kind of thing. Once I received a cache of art books that was all moldy. They had been in a basement for years. You could not keep them with other books without putting your entire collection at risk and also smelling up your whole house. If you had the books I've cut, CAP, you probably wouldn't have kept them at all.