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Ross King is the highly praised author of Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, The Judgment of Paris, Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, and two novels, Ex Libris and Domino. He lives just outside Oxford.
Milan, 1496 and forty-four-year-old Leonardo da Vinci has a reputation for taking on commissions and failing to complete them. He is in a state of professional uncertainty and financial difficulty. For eighteen months he has been painting murals in both the Sforza Castle in Milan and the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The latter project will become the Last Supper, a complex mural that took a full three years to complete on a surface fifteen feet high by twenty feet wide. Not only had he never attempted a painting of such size, but he had no experience whatsoever in painting in the physically demanding medium of fresco. For more than five centuries the Last Supper has been an artistic, religious and cultural icon. The art historian Kenneth Clark has called it 'the keystone of European art', and for a century after its creation it was regarded as nothing less than a miraculous image. Even today, according to Clark, we regard the painting as 'more a work of nature than a work of man'. And yet there is a very human story behind this artistic 'miracle', which was created against the backdrop of momentous events both in Milan and in the life of Leonardo himself. In Leonardo and the Last Supper, Ross King tells the complete story of this creation of this mural: the adversities suffered by the artist during its execution; the experimental techniques he employed; the models for Christ and the Apostles that he used; and the numerous personalities involved - everyone from the Leonardo's young assistants to Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan who commissioned the work. Ross King's new book is both a record of Leonardo da Vinci's last five years in Milan and a 'biography' of one of the most famous works of art ever painted.
Seoul is a colossus both in its physical presence and the demand it places on any intellectual effort to understand it. How did it come to be? How can a city this immense work? Underlying its spectacle and incongruities is a city that might be described as ill at ease with its own past. The bitter rifts of Japanese colonization persist, as does the troubled aftermath of the Korean War and its divisions; the economic Miracle on the Han that followed is crosscut by memories of the violent dictatorship that drove it. In Seoul, author Ross King interrogates this contested history and its physical remnants, tacking between the city's historiography and architecture, with attention to monuments, streets, and other urban spaces. The book's structuring device is the dichotomy of erasure and memory as necessary preconditions for reinvention. King traces this phenomenon from the old dynasties to the Japanese regime and wartime destruction; he then follows the equally destructive reinvention of Korea under dictatorship to the brilliant city of the present with its extraordinary explosion of creativity and ideas-the post-1991 Hallyu, the Korean Wave. The final chapter returns to questions of forgetting and memory, but now as conditions of possibility for what would seem to underlie the present trajectory of this extraordinary city and culture. Seoul can be read, King suggests, in the context of the hybrid ideas that have characterized Korean cultural history. It may be their present eruption that accounts for the city of contradictions that confronts the contemporary observer and that most extraordinary of Korean phenomena: the rise of an alternative, virtual world, eclipsing both city and nation. Has the very idea of Korea been reinvented even as the weakly defined nation-state slips away?
The most comprehensive book on the paintings and frescoes of Florence -- with nearly 2,000 beautifully reproduced artworks from the city's great museums and churches -- is now available in a practical and elegant paperback format. From the paintings on display at the Uffizi Gallery, to the Pitti Palace, to the Accademia, to the Duomo and more, Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes is a rich and magnificent collection of some of the finest art in the world. This stunning book provides a thorough look at the masterpieces housed in the Renaissance art capital of the world including the art of Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio, Correggio, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Titian, Rembrandt, van Dyck, El Greco and hundreds more. Explore the history of art in Florence through seven introductory essays by Ross King, bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, which connects how the paintings, politics, and every-day lives of Florentines influence one another. Art historian Anja Grebe, author of The Louvre and The Vatican, also highlights 250 of the most iconic and significant paintings and frescoes in the historic city.
K 1914 godu shumnye batalii, oznamenovavshie poyavlenie na svet myatezhnoj gruppy hudozhnikov-impressionistov, davno stali istoriej, a molodye buntari ih sprovocirovavshie - te iz nih, kto eshche ne pokinul ehtot mir - prevratilis' v sedoborodyh patriarhov francuzskoj zhivopisi. Klod Mone, kotoromu ispolnilos' 73 goda, obosnovalsya v ZHiverni, gde obustroil svoj personal'nyj rajskij sad s rukotvornymi prudami i selekcionnymi liliyami. Francuzskie gazety informirovali chitatelej, chto proslavlennyj master udalilsya na pokoj. I vse zhe, gazety potoropilis' spisyvat' Mone so schetov. Vopreki lichnym i mirovym kataklizmam, vopreki nezdorov'yu, neuverennosti v svoih silah i solidnomu vozrastu hudozhnik pristupil k voploshcheniyu samogo masshtabnogo hudozhestvennogo proekta za vsyu svoyu artisticheskuyu kar'eru - grandioznogo cikla pejzazhej s vodyanymi liliyami.
Claude Monet's water lily paintings are among the most iconic and beloved works of art of the past century. Yet these entrancing images were created at a time of terrible private turmoil and sadness for the artist. The dramatic history behind these paintings is little known; Ross King's Mad Enchantment tells the full story for the first time and, in the process, presents a compelling and original portrait of one of our most popular and cherished artists. By the outbreak of war in 1914, Monet, then in his mid-seventies, was one of the world's most famous and successful painters, with a large house in the country, a fleet of automobiles and a colossal reputation. However, he had virtually given up painting following the death of his wife Alice in 1911 and the onset of blindness a year later. Nonetheless, it was during this period of sorrow, ill health and creative uncertainty that - as the guns roared on the Western Front - he began the most demanding and innovative paintings he had ever attempted. Encouraged by close friends such as Georges Clemenceau, France's dauntless prime minister, Monet would work on these magnificent paintings throughout the war years and then for the rest of his life. So obsessed with his monumental task that the village barber was summoned to clip his hair as he worked beside his pond, he covered hundreds of yards of canvas with shimmering layers of pigment. As his ambitions expanded with his paintings, he began planning what he intended to be his legacy to the world: the 'Musee Claude Monet' in the Orangerie in Paris. Drawing on letters and memoirs and focusing on this remarkable period in the artist's life, Mad Enchantment gives an intimate portrayal of Claude Monet in all his tumultuous complexity, and firmly places his water lily paintings among the greatest achievements in the history of art.
Using Thailand as a case study, Ross King examines the role of place in the formation of identity through memory. Employing the idea of French historian Pierre Nora that because we no longer live in environments of memory-places where the past is still vividly alive-we compensate by attaching ourselves to sites of memory, King explores whether Thailand offers an alternative vision, a place where modernity and heritage coexist. He looks closely at the myths of ancient Thai cities, the remaining royal palaces, historical monuments, small towns and villages, and the proliferating slums of Bangkok in order to create a unique and nuanced perspective of contemporary Thailand and its many ideas of Thai identity.
V 1495 godu Leonardo da Vinchi pristupil k rabote nad "e;Tajnoj vecherej - stennoj rospis'yu, kotoroj suzhdeno bylo stat' odnim iz samyh znamenityh i vliyatel'nyh proizvedenij v istorii mirovogo iskusstva. Posle desyati let sluzhby pri dvore milanskogo gercoga Lodoviko Sforca, dela Leonardo obstoyali plachevno: v svoi 43 goda on tak i ne uspel eshche sozdat' chego-libo po-nastoyashchemu dostojnogo ego blestyashchego darovaniya. Zakaz na stennuyu rospis' v trapeznoj dominikanskogo monastyrya byl nebol'shim utesheniem, da i shansy hudozhnika na uspekh - prizrachnymi. Nikogda eshche Leonardo ne dovodilos' rabotat' nad stol' monumental'nym zhivopisnym proizvedeniem, ne bylo u nego i opyta raboty v chrezvychajno slozhnoj tekhnike freski. Na fone vojny, politicheskih intrig i religioznyh potryasenij, stradaya ot nenadezhnosti sobstvennogo polozheniya i muchitel'no perezhivaya proshlye neudachi, Leonardo sozdal shedevr, kotoryj proslavil ego imya v vekah. Razvenchivaya mnozhestvo mifov, okutyvayushchih "e;Tajnuyu vecheryu edva li ne s momenta sozdaniya, Ross King dokazyvaet, chto istinnaya istoriya proslavlennogo tvoreniya Leonardo da Vinchi uvlekatel'nee lyubogo iz nih.
Every painted work that is on display in the Uffizi Gallery, The Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo is included in the book, plus many or most of the works from 28 of the city's other magnificent museums and churches. The research and text are by Ross King (best-selling author), Anja Grebe (author or The Louvre and The Vatican), Cristina Acidini (former Superintendent of the public museums of Florence) and Msgr. Timothy Verdon (Director of the artworks for the Archdiocese of Florence).
Following Elementary Korean, Continuing Korean is the second volume in Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon's popular series of college-level Korean textbooks. This volume is aimed at the student with one year of Korean language study under their belt, and particularly the student who has mastered the patterns and vocabulary introduced in King and Yeon's Elementary Korean, the first book in this series. Each of the fifteen chapters in Continuing Korean introduces the new language in context, through dialogues and reading passages featuring the Murphy family and the Kim family, followed by vocabulary, grammar points, and exercises--all designed to learn Korean as thoroughly as possible. Every five chapters there is a short review section to consolidate language learned so far. All dialogues, reading texts, vocabulary words, and example sentences are given in Korean Hangul and English. An accompanying free audio-CD provides native-speaker recordings of dialogues, reading passages, and key words and phrases. Concise grammar notes in English, extensive glossaries, and an answer key makes this book suitable for those studying alone, as well as for classroom use.
Advanced Korean offers a complete, systematic, and streamlined third-year course in Korean. It is ideal for university students and adult learners with plentiful reading texts and written exercises, all in Korean Hangul. Concise Korean grammar notes in English, extensive glossaries, and an answer key make this book suitable for those studying alone, as well as for classroom use. There are 20 comprehensive lessons, each with a reading text in which new language is introduced in context, followed by vocabulary, grammar points, and exercises. Lessons 5, 10, 15 and 20 are short reviews of the key structural patterns introduced. The focus is on written Korean, but the reading texts are not academic, they are breezy, chatty, and amusing, with illustrations. The textbook comes with a free CD-ROM entitled Sino-Korean Companion, a supplement for those learners wishing to commence the study of Chinese characters as they are used in the Korean language. The 20 lessons on the CD-ROM build on the content of the lessons in the main textbook to introduce 500 Chinese characters in their Sino-Korean readings. The emphasis is on giving students the tools they need to decipher unfamiliar Chinese characters on their own, and also on Sino-Korean vocabulary acquisition. Each lesson introduces approximately 25-30 new Chinese characters along with related vocabulary items and builds on previous characters and vocabulary introduced, demonstrating the cumulative effect on one's vocabulary of paying systematic attention to Sino-Korean.
This is a comprehensive and detailed introductory Korean textbook and language learning package. Korean is now the 11th most popular language taught at American universities. This new edition of Elementary Korean, the most comprehensive and detailed introductory Korean textbook available, offers beginning learners of Korean everything they need to learn the language effectively. Perfect for a first-year university-level course use or the independent language learner. No prior knowledge of the language is necessary. The new format, now with dozens of illustrations, presents Korean vocabulary and Korean grammar in an accessible and understandable manner while extensive conversations and exercises help to reinforce the Korean language and build reading and listening comprehension. This edition includes: An MP3 audio CD with native speaker recordings and a dedicated website. Rich and highly nuanced examples with brand new illustrations. Grammar notes Ample writing exercises with an accompanying answer key. Detailed examples of authentic dialogue. Plenty of writing practice. Dialogues, reading texts, and written exercises are in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, so students are quickly able to read and write authentic Korean. Layered lessons are designed to build on each other, making Korean easy to learn from the most popular introductory Korean language textbook available. Included is a revised audio CD that helps learners to speak like a native and a web-based practice component through the University of British Columbia that can help students to learn Korean even beyond the pages of this book. According to the Modern Language Association, enrollment in Korean in American universities is increasing rapidly. Available separately is the companion Elementary Korean Workbook, which assists learners in practicing and polishing their Korean language skills. Each lesson supplements the corresponding lesson in the textbook. There are ten activities per lesson, offering a range of exercises and practice opportunities to enable you to achieve proficiency in everyday, conversational Korean.
For more than five centuries The Last Supper has been an artistic, religious and cultural icon. The art historian Kenneth Clark called it 'the keystone of European art', and for a century after its creation it was regarded as nothing less than a miraculous image. And yet there is a very human story behind this artistic 'miracle'. Ross King's Leonardo and the Last Supper is both a 'biography' of one of the most famous works of art ever painted and a record of Leonardo da Vinci's last five years in Milan.
Arguably Southeast Asia's most spectacular city, Kuala Lumpur - widely known as 'KL' - has celebrated 50 years as the national capital of Malaysia. But KL now has a very different twin in Putrajaya, the country's new administrative capital. Where KL is a diverse, cosmopolitan, multi-racial metropolis, Putrajaya fulfils an elitist vision of a Malay-Muslim utopia. KL's multicultural richness is reflected in the brilliance and diversity of its architecture and urban spaces; Putrajaya, by contrast, is an architectural homage to an imagined Middle East. The 'purity' of Putrajaya throws the cosmopolitan diversity of Kuala Lumpur into sharp relief, and the tension between the two places reflects the rifts that run through Malaysian society. The author considers what form of metropolis the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya region might foreshadow, arguing that signs of this future city are to be sought in the collision points between the utopian dreams of imagined futures and the reality of purposely forgotten pasts. The book includes copious illustrations of the wider Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region. It is directly applicable to studies in architecture, urban planning, urban design, and Malaysian politics and society. It also has relevance to the fields of postcolonial studies, media studies and critical social theory.
Even in an age of soaring skyscrapers and cavernous sports stadiums, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence still retains a rare power to astonish. Yet the elegance of the building belies the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. For over a century after work on the cathedral began in 1296, the proposed dome was regarded as all but impossible to build because of its enormous size. The greatest architectural puzzle of its age, when finally completed in 1436 the dome was hailed as one of the great wonders of the world. It has gone down in history as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. This book tells the extraordinary story of how the cupola was raised and of the dome's architect, the brilliant and volatile Filippo Brunelleschi. Denounced as a madman at the start of his labours, he was celebrated at their end as a great genius. His life was one of ambition, ingenuity, rivalry and intrigue - a human drama set against the plagues, wars, political feuds and intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence, the glorious era for which the dome remains the most compelling symbol. Brunelleschi's Dome was voted Non-Fiction Book of the Year by American Independent Booksellers.
In 1863, the French painter Ernest Meissonier was one of the most famous artists in the world and the darling of the 'Salon' - that all important public art exhibition held biannually in Paris. Manet, on the other hand, was struggling in obscurity. Beginning with the year that Manet exhibited his ground-breaking Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe and ending in 1974 with the first 'Impressionist' exhibition, Ross King plunges into Parisian life during a ten-year period full of social and political ferment with his usual narrative brillliance. These were the years in which Napoleon III's autocratic and pleasure-seeking Second Empire fell from its heights into the ignominy of the Franco-Prussian war and the ensuing Paris Commune of 1871. But it was also a period in which a group of artists, with Manet in the vanguard began to challenge the establishment by turning to the landscapes and ordinary people they saw around them. The struggle between Meissonier and Manet to get their paintings exhibited in pride of place at the Salon was not just about art, it was about how to see the world.
In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The thirty-three-year-old Michelangelo had very little experience of the physically and technically taxing art of fresco; and, at twelve thousand square feet, the ceiling represented one of the largest such projects ever attempted. Nevertheless, for the next four years he and a hand-picked team of assistants laboured over the vast ceiling, making thousands of drawings and spending back-breaking hours on a scaffold fifty feet above the floor. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This fascinating book tells the story of those four extraordinary years and paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding - and outside, in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.
While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris: The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amidst scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas, would at times resemble a battlefield; and, as Ross King reveals, Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated around the world.The Judgment of Paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War. A tale of many artists, it revolves around the lives of two, described as "e;the two poles of art"e;-Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Delacroix, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Monet, Hugo, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world. With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.