We forget, in our image-laden era, just how recent a phenomenon art books are, with their true-colour reproductions of both old and contemporary works of art. We also forget just how essential they are, not just for the pleasure of the general public, but as a source of inspiration for artists and to encourage new generations of collectors and art historians.
One key factor in this progress was the founding of Phaidon Press in 1923. Last year Phaidon embarked on a major project to produce a new series of ‘Phaidon Classics’, inspired by those originals. Bright colour edging differentiates the volumes: 2015 saw the publication of Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Raphael; this year, Botticelli, Vermeer and Renoir have followed. While no longer eminently affordable (the volumes are $150 each), they will not break the bank. [link]