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The Resource What heaven looks like : comments on a strange wordless book, by James Elkins

What heaven looks like : comments on a strange wordless book, by James Elkins

Label
What heaven looks like : comments on a strange wordless book
Title
What heaven looks like
Title remainder
comments on a strange wordless book
Statement of responsibility
by James Elkins
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
"Somewhere in Europe - we don't know where - around 1700. An artist is staring at something on the floor next to her worktable. It's just a log from the woodpile, stood on end. The soft, damp bark; the gently raised growth rings; the dark radial cracks - nothing could be more ordinary . But as the artist looks, and looks, colors begin to appear - shapes - even figures. She turns to a sheet of paper and begins to paint. Today this anonymous artist's masterpiece is preserved in the University of Glasgow Library. It is a manuscript in a plain brown binding, whose entire contents, beyond a cryptic title page, are fifty-two small, round watercolor paintings based on the vision she saw in the ends of firewood logs. This book reproduces the entire sequence of paintings in full color, together with a meditative commentary by the art historian James Elkins. Sometimes, Elkins writes, we can glimpse the artist's sources - Baroque religious art, genre painting, mythology, alchemical manuscripts, emblem books, optical effects. But always she distorts her images, mixes them together, leaves them incomplete - always she rejects familiar stories and clear-cut meanings. In this daring refusal to make sense, Elkins sees an uncannily modern attitude of doubt and skepticism; he draws a portrait of the artist as an irremediably lonely, amazingly independent soul, inhabiting a distinct historical moment between the faded Renaissance and the overconfident Enlightenment. What Heaven Looks Like is a rare event: an encounter between a truly perceptive historian of images, and master conjurer of them." -- front cover inside flap
Cataloging source
DLC
Citation location within source
  • July 01, 2017
  • June 19, 2017
Citation source
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Publishers Weekly
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Label
What heaven looks like : comments on a strange wordless book, by James Elkins
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-122) and index
Contents
Contents : Preface -- The book -- The title page -- Plates -- Postscript: Falls from faith in the seventeenth century -- Discussions on the internet -- For further reading -- Index
Control code
sky288835449
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
128 pages
Isbn
9781946053022
Lccn
2017942382
Other physical details
color illustrations
Label
What heaven looks like : comments on a strange wordless book, by James Elkins
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-122) and index
Contents
Contents : Preface -- The book -- The title page -- Plates -- Postscript: Falls from faith in the seventeenth century -- Discussions on the internet -- For further reading -- Index
Control code
sky288835449
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
128 pages
Isbn
9781946053022
Lccn
2017942382
Other physical details
color illustrations

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