Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taschen Books

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.

37 comments:

sølvi said...

Books in all shapes and forms are so inspiring. One day their going to take up all the room in the house and we have to leave.

A World in a PAN said...

I had the good luck to visit Rome with friend and artist Marie K Verbois, who walked me through the art of Caravaggio's magnificent and powerful paintings.
Her blog is a delight mariekverbois.blogspot.com

the traveler's soul said...

Chez Le Caravage, le travail de la lumière est fascinant.

Jaimee said...

So eloquently put!

Mary-Laure said...

SOLVI - ha, I have the same problem! Books are always taking over my place; but I love it.

TRAVELER'S SOUL - je saivais que tu ferais un commentaire surle Caravage, mais je pensais que tu aurais ton mot a dire sur notre chere Colette.

Anonymous said...

nice coincidence....i was just talking about audrey hepburn teh other day with someone (from france!)...oh and i looooooove book sales...i am sure i would have spent a pretty wit you as well! and yes, caravaggio is pretty amazing...just his comprehension of light is pur delight....
xxnancy

Candace said...

Audrey Hepburn is one of my heroes and for many, many reasons.

Hila said...

I am so jealous - I want those books!
Sorry I haven't visited your blog in a while, looks like I missed some great posts.

Mary-Laure said...

NANCY - I'm not surprised that someone like you who's passionate about film and photography should love Caravaggio. It's all about the light indeed.

CANDACE - me too. She was a GREAT humanitarian at the end of her life and I admire her so much. I remember the day she died. I was in high school and just so sad.

HILA - I know you've been terribly busy with your dissertation. Welcome back!

Ciara said...

What an adorable blog!
We love Taschen books too, and what great choice you made. I love Audrey Hepburn and my ten year old daughter discovered her in the last year and is completely star-struck. Finn loves to be different so Holly Golightly really made a big impression!

Gabbi said...

Beautiful books, great buy!

la casita de wendy said...

i love taschen books! and your blog too!!!

beautiful your pictures of kenya...

Esti said...

oh cómo me gustaría tener mi casa llena de libros Taschen! Nunca me parecen suficientes...

Solange said...

Very nice post, especially sharing the book with us, books are also filling up my house...which is why we'll soon buy a bigger bookcupboard.
Caravaggio's work is indeed very impressive and beautiful.

have a good weekend,
Solange

misscipher said...

Hi Mary-Laure. I just tag you because I want to learn a bit more about you. Hope you don't mind. :P

Mary-Laure said...

CIARA - it's great that your daughter loves Audrey because she's a perfect role model, very generous.

SOLANGE - I can never have enough books and am actually looking for bookshelves because I'm running out of space for my many purchases!!

MISSCIPHER - thanks, I'll check it out right away!

dapper kid said...

I love Taschen, they seem to print some of the loveliest books!

Certain Creatures said...

Audry Hepburn is so delicate and refine! I love the way she looks in all her pictures!
I recently tagged you on my blog! I hope you don't mind!
Francesca
x

Mary-Laure said...

CERTAIN CREATURES - I'm glad you like Audrey too...
I'll check out the tag; I enjoy tags, so I really don't mind, thanks!

Jill said...

i agree...caravaggio's painting are amazing! i remember the first time i saw them in person in rome. i was blown away. a few years ago there was an exhibition here in boston that included his work and i got to see a few of them again.

Maran said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. It's always fun to meet someone new. Also, I love Audrey Hepburn. You are right, she is a great role model.

Rina said...

Por suerte aqui tenemos unas librerias que tienen y traen muchos libros de Taschen. Los adoro y tengo varios de ellos...las guias de viaje son una de mis favoritos

Trish said...

Awww, love Audrey Hepburn so much!! :)

...love Maegan said...

Taschen actually really rocks!

Oh ...I posted about my hair girl w/ the address in case you are interested :)

GEMA said...

que lindo blog...me encantó lo poquito q ví...te acabo de agregar a mis blogs favoritos...voy a leerte detenidamente...un gran descubrimiento el de hoy con tu blog...bsitos preciosa

the asherette said...

i love love love colette, she is my favorite too- so thank you for including her when writing about audrey. if i remember correctly - it was in Monte Carlo and colette loved the way in which audrey switched fluently back and forth between french and english. no?. great story. happy you like colette too:)

michiko said...

I just awarded you 'Your Blog is Fabulous’ award and the ‘Nice Blog Award’on my last post :)

d. moll, l.ac. said...

I see a rabbit.......

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Oh yes- they have soo nice books. Next to Saatchi gallery here in Lonodn they have a flagship store. There you kind find some of their more ambitious books that are not available everywhere. I wanted them all!

Mary-Laure said...

D MOLL - HA! I knew you'd like this one!

ALEXANDRA - I didn't know about that store, thanks for the tip, I'll check it out next time I'm in wonderful wonderful London.

Charlotte Tollstén said...

Great books that you got!!

It is so many fantastic books out there, but for me, so little time to read.......

the traveler's soul said...

Oui j'avais oublié Colette (et son tobi chien), la pure beauté d'une langue ou se disputent la liberté eblouissante du style et la sensibilité tragique d'une femme.

mansuetude said...

Audrey ... i don't even know how to express what she does inside me, its joy and elegance. Love how you juxtapose her with this phrase "Hallowed and voluptuous." There is something to these connections.

A happy Woof-woof to the Oracle.

Marie-Louise said...

And I love the movie Breakfeast at Tiffany...she is so beautiful in this time!

Marie-Eve said...

J'adore Audrey Hepburn. Vraiment.

Et merci d'être passée sur Toujours Dimanche... bien sûr, nous partageons ce goût pour le pain frais et craquant!

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smplcv said...

Yes, you were correct, i too had tears..wonderful book and have shared the review of the book with face book


Dancer CV