Catalogue Number: 1749
Secret knowledge. Rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters.
Sub-Category: Hewett collection
Author: HOCKNEY David
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 2006
Edition: 2nd Edition
Time Period: 21st C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: USA
Publisher/Manufacturer: Viking Studios
Description Of Item: Soft covers with photo portrait of Hockney on front, 328 pages profusely illustrated.
Historical Significance: David Hockney, CH, RA, (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, based in Bridlington, Yorkshire, although he also maintains a base in London. He has also worked in the USA. He has been an important contributor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. The National Gallery of Australia holds over 900 of his works including his 7 m x 2 m painting 'A bigger grand canyon' 1998 purchased in 1999 for $4.6 million. This book is devoted to the thesis that many western artists from the 15th C used optics to create living projections (eg the camera obscura and camera lucida) which they used to produce their paintings and drawings. It is widely accepted that some artists did so but Hockney argues that it was more widely used and used earlier than is usually suggested and was so used until the advent of photography in the early 19th C. The book is divided into three sections, (1) the elaboration of his thesis (beautifully illustrated), (2) extracts from documents supporting his thesis and (3) a selection of notes, essays and correspondence produced during his research. The optics involved may have been better described by an optometrist or others more versed in optics than is the author but is a fascinating journey through the history of art nonetheless.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum (Abe books for $23)
Date Acquired: Jan 2011
Location: Nathan Library. Hewett collection