. Taschen . Cologne ,
N7660.F67 2009 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is one of the larger -- and heavier! -- surprises of my collecting career. This is a gorgeous, serious book, but it has nothing to do with fables! Pancha Tantra is a metaphorical title, I suppose, to indicate that this is Walton Ford's bestiary. It is certainly that! The pictures are dramatic, colorful, imposing, sometimes even shocking. Nature's animals are shown at their wildest and most primitively forceful. Der Pantherausbruch deals in heavy blacks versus whites in the foreground, with torch-bearing peasants in the background (156). Nila, an elephant surrounded by a host of Western birds, marches forward in a stately fashion but brandishes at the same time an extended penis that supports a bird of its own (137). The original water-color on paper works are apparently quite large. This oversized (about 15 x 11) book of some 320 pages displays the works very well.