Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Just now I am reading the book Winter by the admirable Adam Gopnik, given to me for Christmas by my nice husband. These are the transcripts of a series of lectures Gopnik gave about how our Modern conception of winter as sublime and/or picturesque (as opposed to just a horrid slog to get through) came to be. Despite this slightly obscure topic, it still surprises me that this was published by the relatively small Canadian press Anansi, considering what bestsellers his previous books Paris to the Moon, Through the Children's Gate, and Angles and Ages have all been. No doubt there's a story there.
Anyhow, the book is nicely produced, but on a modest scale, with a color insert in the middle for the relatively few illustrations. So, in the part I was reading last night he talks about the snow paintings of Monet, Pissarro, and Sisley. And I found I could not immediately call these works to mind. So I flipped to the middle of the book, but no images of these paintings were presented. Having worked on books with licensed art images myself, my best guess would be that these big name impressionists turned out to be too expensive for the publisher to afford and include. So I've gone ahead and looked up a few myself, and, indeed they're just as gorgeous as Gopnik says: