Trees in Art

Charles Watkins

Trees in Art

Charles Watkins

Distributed for Reaktion Books

256 pages | 200 color plates, 20 halftones | 8 1/4 x 11 | © 2018
Cloth $55.00 ISBN: 9781780239309 Will Publish June 2018 For sale in North and South America only
In this lavishly illustrated book, Charles Watkins celebrates the myth and magic of arboreal art. Open its pages and enter the greeny groves of the classical world, from Daphne’s metamorphosis into a laurel tree to the gardens of Pompeii. Shade yourself beneath the tree in sacred art, as represented in masterworks by Botticelli and Michelangelo. Exploring every leafy manifestation of tree art—from oaks as a symbol of nationhood and liberty across Europe, to the natural mystery and drama of forest interiors, the formal beauty of cultivated avenues, and representations of forestry over the ages—Trees in Art illuminates trees that are much more than mere plants. Taking in the fantastic and surreal arboreal art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, William Blake, Arthur Rackham, and Salvador Dalí, as well as the work of contemporary artists like Giuseppe Penone and Ai Wei Wei, Trees in Art reveals the enduring practice, genius, and meaning behind how artists render trees. Drawing on exquisite artworks and Watkins’s deep knowledge of the history and ecology of trees, the thematic chapters of Trees in Art take us on an enlightening journey through centuries of verdant, artistic engagement with a natural form that seems to mirror and allegorize the human path through life.
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