Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst

Friday Inspiration

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Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst by Tanya Paul, James Clifton, Julie Berger Hochstrasser, and Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.

This book is an exhibition catalog, however if you were unable to see the exhibit, like me, this book is still a valuable reference if you are a lover of Dutch still-life paintings.

And if you happen to paint with oils and strive to capture the beauty found in van Aelst’s work, the essay on his technique is invaluable. This essay was written as if it was meant to instruct artists on how to emulate the highly refined paint application methods van Aelst employed. I only wish I had had this advice when I began my de Heem copy in 2010. I loved the written explanations that were supported with photos.

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Another aspect of this book that I find invaluable are the descriptions of each painting. I love learning about each painting with a little more depth than just what a detail photo will impart. For me, sometimes the importance of something is only absorbed and learned if I read about it first, and then I search for it in the image of the painting.

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However, if you are a lover of images this book also delivers…

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Even the back of the book is beautiful and full of detail.

Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst

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