The Painted House

Graham Rust, Author Knopf Publishing Group $60 (184p) ISBN 978-0-394-57340-3
Beautifully designed and illustrated, and accompanied by a concise text, this book offers a curiously limited but enticing glimpse of the possibilities of interior wall painting. Rust, an English muralist, has compiled reproductions of over 100 of his murals designed for a variety of spaces, complete with handsome watercolor sketches illustrating the development of each design. His work, while masterfully executed, is largely derivative, relying on the art of antiquity and a trompe l'oeil painting technique. Most of the murals depicted are grand and fantastical and aspire to an old-world luxuriance better suited to hotel and restaurant walls than the average home, but contain details easily adapted to the needs of humbler spaces. Only a small portion of the volume is devoted to actual painting technique and practice. This is clearly not a do-it-yourself book; only an experienced painter could realize a mural based on information gleaned from the text. As a designer's sourcebook, it is limited by the homogeneity of Rust's own style, but offers valuable information on design considerations and conveys a refreshingly magical eccentricity. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-8212-2454-0
Hardcover - 184 pages - 978-0-394-57245-1
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