November 13, 2021

Three art books for inspiration

By 1605 Publishers
Art, Inspiration, Review
Art books are not only those that show art in its literal form open for spectators' interpretation. There are also ones that talk about art history and art creating process and offer a detailed analysis of a colour palette, perspective, composition, hidden messages and unnoticeable for a naked eyes elements in an artwork. 1605 Publishers selected three favourite books that can be useful for anyone who works with art from artists themselves to designers and even brand strategists. Voilà!


"The Story of Art" by Ernst Gombrich⁠

The classic art book and a must have in every book collection. It has been a world bestseller for over half a century. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have agreed that Ernst Gombrich ( 1909-2001, Austria - United Kingdom) combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of art.

"The Story of Art" has always been admired for two key qualities: it is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to handle. In these respects the pocket edition is no exception, combining smoothly flowing text with a clear, simple design in a convenient and accessible format.

Ernst Gombrich was the most eminent art historian of the last half-century, both for specialist scholars and for a wider public. The Story of Art has been the introduction to the visual arts for innumerable people for more than 50 years and became a global bestseller – with more than 8 million copies sold worldwide.

Three best art books
Image: Alexander Rodchenko & László Moholy-Nagy

"Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History" by Lynn Gamwell (cover image by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto)⁠

This is a cultural history of mathematics and art, from antiquity to the present. Lynn Gamwell (b. 1943, United States) begins by describing mathematics from antiquity to the Enlightenment, including Greek, Islamic, and Asian mathematics. Then focusing on modern culture, Gamwell traces mathematicians' search for the foundations of their science, such as David Hilbert's conception of mathematics as an arrangement of meaning-free signs, as well as artists' search for the essence of their craft, such as Aleksandr Rodchenko's monochrome paintings.

"Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History" takes readers on a tour of the practice of mathematics and the philosophical ideas that drive the discipline. 

Lynn Gamwell is an American nonfiction author and art curator known for her books on art history, the history of mathematics, the history of science, and their connections such as mathematics and art. Gamwell has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MFA from Claremont McKenna College, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Hiroshi SugimotoImage: Hiroshi Sugimoto & Maurits Cornelis Escher

"A Dictionary of Colour Combinations" by Sanzo Wada

The book is a collection of 348 colour combinations originated by Sanzo Wada (1883-1967, Japan) who, in that time of increasingly avant-garde and diversified use of colour, was quick to focus on the importance of colour and laid the foundation for contemporary colour research.

"A Dictionary of Colour Combinations" not only presents combinations that are an important record from the Taisho and Showa periods, but also communicates a universal sensitivity toward colour that can be applied in a contemporary context. 

Sanzo Wada was a Japanese painter, fashion and costume designer who in the 1930s did a very extensive colour research, into both Western and Japanese colours. Not only because of this work, but also because he won an Oscar for best costume design in 1953 for the jidaigeki film "Gate of Hell", he gained great name recognition during and after his life. His colour research is still an important reference point for contemporary designers worldwide.

the dictionary of colour combinationsImage: Sanzo Wada 

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