Robert Tanitch reviews three books
Reading Art: Art for Book lovers by David Trigg (Phaidon £24.95). Erasmus said that when he had a little money he bought a book and if he had any left over he bought food and clothes. I love this collection of portraits, fascinating in themselves but made more fascinating by the books they are being read across the centuries and what they tell us about the sitters. There are portraits by Rembrandt, Bellini, Magritte, Fragonard, Carrington, Monet, Manet, etc, etc. The book is terrific value. One mage, which will stick in many minds, is Micha Ullman’s Library in Bebelplatz in Berlin, a memorial to the burning of books by Nazis on 10th May 1933.
Double Take: Reconstructing the History of Photography by Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger (Thames & Hudson £24.95). The world’s most iconic photographs are meticulously re-created in miniature. The process of photography is dissected to show the inner workings. There are reconstructions of The Charge of the Light Brigade’s Valley of Death in the Crimean War. the flight of the Wright brothers, the Titanic, soldiers in the front line in World War 1, the death of a loyalist in the Spanish Civil War, the raising of the flag in Iwo Jima, Hiroshima, Mao swimming, Apollo moon landing, and the New York twin towers in 9/11. Can the photographic image ever be trusted again? The message, loud and clear, is that any image is a fabrication. Double Take is perfect for the age of Fake News.
The Library of Trinity College Dublin by Harry Cory Wright (Thames & Hudson £12.95). Two of the things you have to do if you go to Dublin are to see the Book of Kellls and visit the monumental timber-lined Long Room which houses 200,000 volumes in dark oak bookcases, six centuries of scholarship and publishing. Awesome, daunting, overwhelming, this is for book lovers, the most beautiful room in Ireland and the most magnificent library in the world; and with its soaring barrel-vaulted ceiling, it produces an immediate emotional response. If you haven’t already been, this sweet, little Pocket Photo Book guide will persuade you to join the million visitors who have.