Who doesn't like Taschen's beautiful art books? They were having a major sale at their Beverly Drive boutique last week and I couldn't resist three volumes.
I chose a book about the divine Audrey Hepburn. It is little known that she got her big break when spotted by my favorite French writer, Colette, who was then looking for a girl to be her Gigi onscreen. I love the picture of a lithe, childlike Audrey curled up against theatrical Colette reading her own sublime prose.
I also went for the Dürer and Caravaggio monographies.
There are very few works of art that brought spontaneous tears of emotion into my eyes the first time I saw them. One was Praxiteles's Aphrodite of Cnidus, another was Mantegna's "Agony in the Garden", and the last one was Caravaggio's "Taking of Christ" - sadly and oddly not featured in the Taschen book.
Caravaggio is indeed one of my favorite painters. He is so supremely human; his depiction of the flesh, his focus on expressive hands and the eyes of his characters all reflect emotions at their utmost degree. Hallowed and voluptuous.