In "The Art of Arts", Anita Albus tells the story - in the birth and triumph of oil painting, the creation of perspective and the very nature of paint itself - of how, when and why the eye became king of all the senses. Albus's subjects are the inventors of easel painting in oils, the van Eyck brothers and their followers. It was in the 15th and 16th centuries in northern Europe that oil painting radically changed the way we perceived the world: the ear, through which we had previously received all knowledge, was replaced in importance by the eye. A painter of distinction herself, Albus re-creates this revolutionary time in all its intricacies, its familiarity and its strangeness. "The Art of Arts" is thus both an informative cultural history and the story of two explosive inventions: the so-called third dimension of deep space through perspective, and the shockingly vivid colors of a new kind of paint. Albus makes abundantly clear how, taken together, these breakthroughs not only created a new art but altered our perception of the world.
Anita Albus is a writer and artist based in Munich and Burgundy. Her publications include The Botanical Drama, The Garden of Songs, and the translation into German of Flashlights by Jules and Edmond de Goncourt. She has illustrated The Passionate Gardener by Rudolph Borchardt and The Jealous Potter by Claude Levi-Strauss.