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Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc

Fabulous fodder for Joan of Arc fans, Francophiles, and lovers of fine photography.

Labry’s stunning monochromatic images of Joan of Arc statuary are a love letter to the Maid of Orleans.

A professional photographer for over 30 years, Labry chose equestrian and other statues of Joan of Arc, the martyred saint and heroine of France, as the subject of his first book. The statues, all but two of which are in France, feature considerable texture, which the photographer captures beautifully in rich black and white. There is a timeless, sensitive quality about the images, many of which are close-ups of one detail—clasped hands, a bound torso, the Maid’s face lifted to the heavens. A few too many tight shots of horse heads appear, however, and the one of the stallion draped in Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans seems out of place. But the depth and dimension of all the photographs are notable; the contrast is strong but not excessive. An artist’s statement explaining the photographer’s fascination with Joan, as well as an intro to the life and times of the medieval peasant girl–turned–victorious army leader, is provided. Although the photos easily could stand on their own, Labry pairs them with quotes that are attributed to Joan of Arc, directly refer to her, or could describe achievements and mindsets credited to her. For example, a photo of a sculpture of Joan prepared for battle is coupled with Maya Angelou’s quote, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.” The selected font for the quotations, Herculanum, an all-capital typeface that mimics Roman letters written in clay, however, is not reader friendly. Also, the index could be more helpful for readers; the general location of each statue photographed is given, but additional beneficial information isn’t supplied in the index or anywhere else in the book. For example, one reference to a statue reads, “Town Square, Chinon, France,” but a more helpful entry would say the piece was by Julies Roulleau (1855-1895) and is in the Place Jeanne d’Arc in Chinon.

Fabulous fodder for Joan of Arc fans, Francophiles, and lovers of fine photography. 

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-320-96360-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: Blurb

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2015

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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