Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting

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Princeton Architectural Press, Aug 11, 2005 - Art - 179 pages
3 Reviews
From Siri Hustvedt, author of the bestselling novel What I Loved, comes this inspired collection of essays on painting. Here, Hustvedt concentrates her narrative gifts on the works of such masters as Francisco de Goya, Jan Vermeer, Jean-Baptiste-Simon Chardin, Gerhard Richter, and Joan Mitchell.

Hustvedt is concerned with the very act of looking and the limitless rewards to be gleaned from sustained, careful attention. Unlike film and books, which progress over time, "Painting is there all at once," she writes, it is only with patience and repeated viewings that elusive meanings present themselves.

Through her own personal experiences, Hustvedt is able to reveal things until now hidden in plain sight: an egg like detail in Vermeer's Woman with a Pearl Necklace and the many hidden self-portraits in Goya's series of drawings, Los Caprichos, as well as in his infamous painting The Third of May. Most importantly, these essays exhibit the passion, thrill, and sheer pleasure of bewilderment a work of art can produceif you simply take the time to look.

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Mysteries of the rectangle essays on painting

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These wonderful essays capture Hustvedt's thoughtful, intensely personal and aesthetically charged responses to art. At first, Hustvedt's choice of artists seems random or disjointed, but it becomes ... Read full review

Review: Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting

User Review  - Jeneba Charkey - Goodreads

Looking at art is a very intimate private activity for me and I rarely enjoy visiting a museum or gallery with even some of my closest friends. But reading this book was like strolling arm in arm in complete sync, if not always in agreement, with an intimate friend who knows your heart. Read full review

About the author (2005)

Siri Hustvedt is a novelist whose books include Enchantment of Lily Dahl and What I Loved. She makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.

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