Saturday, May 29, 2010

R. G. Hoegler's Griechenland

I was looking through a book of photographs recently called Griechenland by R. G. Hoegler. Except for the fact that his first name was/is Rudolf, I couldn't find out much about the him. He was a German painter who fell in love with rural Greece and spent many years there before the start of World War II. After the war had interrupted his idyll, he returned to Greece to find that painting no longer spoke "the language of his heart." He took up photography and produced more than one book about Greece.

The book itself is elegant. The copy I have is pretty beat up but it is large, bound in nice cloth with gilt embossed lettering, with all tipped-in images. Quite handsome.

The work is mostly images of the Greek landscape, archeological ruins, sculpture, artwork, towns. All professionally produced and beautiful examples of their genre but for the most part, the book reads like art history (visually reads; the text is all in German which I can't read.)

What sets this book off is that there are more than a handful of images which are unusual and striking. And a couple that are in fact puzzling in the context of the overall theme of the book. Here are some samples:

I really don't know what to make of this image, the last in the book. It's a very odd way of ending this sort of coffee table travel book.

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