Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Favorite Coffee Table Books and the Juan Luna Paintings

The last couple of months I have posted articles on my ties and caps/hats collection. Today I will discuss some of my favorite Coffee Table Books in my collection. I have more than 70 Coffee books in my collection. The photo above is just part of my collection. Two dozens more of my coffee books are under the coffee table that is not pictured in this blog. Topics of my collection are in art, sculptures and painting, Gardening and Landscaping, Food and Nutrition, Travel, erotic art and photography. My ten favorite coffee books are:

1. Robert Mapplethorpe by Richard Howard and Ingrid Sischy, Bulfinch Press, 1988 ( 210 pages)

2. Erotic Art compiled by Phyllis and Eberhard Kronhausen, Bell Publishing Company, 1968 ( 250 pages)

3. Amorsolo ( Paintings) published by Filipinas Foundation, Inc, First Printing, 1975 ( 315 pages)

4. Japanese Eroticism, Text by Bernard Soulle, Crescent Books, N.Y., 1981 (320 pages)

5. 20th Century Masters of Erotic Art by Bradley Smith, Crown Publisher, 1980 ( 380 pages)

6. Augustin Pajou, Royal Sculpture, by James David Draper, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, 1998 ( 430 pages)
Marinduque from the Air

7. Marinduque, Heart of the Philippines by Dindo Asuncion, Published by the Provincial Government, 2004 ( 220 pages)

8. The Great Book of French Impressionism by Diane Kelder, Harrison House, NY, 1979 (450 pages)

9. The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, Foreword by David Remnick and Edited by Robert Mankoff, Leventhal Publishers, 2004 (520 pages).

10. American Painting, Introduction by Robert Rosenblum and Text by Donald Goddard, Beaux Arts Edition, NY 1990 ( 530 pages)

I should rotate this photo, but I will not so it is easier to read the titles of the books.

Note: I have two coffee table books authored and published by Macrine's first cousin, Bing Nieva Carrion Buck. I have more than 600 hard books and novels and more than a thousand pocket books. I have donated almost all of my pocket books to Goodwill and Salvation Army. I have more than 50 albums of photographs and 90% of my photos are in the web.

A note about coffee table books: A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose purpose is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one entertains guests and from which it can serve to inspire conversation. Subject matter is predominantly non-fiction and pictorial (a photo-book).

Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick up the book for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term "coffee table book" can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject.

The late Dr. Teyet Pascual and his Collections of Paintings in his Condo in Makati, Manila

In 2005, I had an opportunity to purchase a coffee Table book of some of Juan Luna paintings collected by my former chemistry classmate, the late Dr. Eleuterio (Teyet) Pascual, Ph.D.(

At that time he was selling it during our Chemistry Alumni Reunion and 50th Anniversary Party for P5,000. I thought it was expensive so I did not buy the coffee table book( it was about $125 at that time based on the pesos to dollars exchange rate). I am now regretting that I did not purchase the Juan Luna Paintings Coffee Table book. (

Anyway, here's a short video on the Juan Luna paintings that has never shown to the public.

One of the many well-known paintings of Luna is the La Bulaquena ( the Woman from Bulacan). Below is description of the painting from Wikipedia for your information if you are not Filipino and not familiar with Philippine culture and traditions.

La Bulaqueña, literally "the woman from Bulacan" or "the Bulacan woman", also sometimes referred to as Una Bulaqueña ("a woman from Bulacan"). This is the Spanish title of an 1895 painting by Filipino painter and hero Juan Novicio Luna. Bulacan is a province in the Philippines in Luzon island and its residents are called Bulaqueños, also spelled as Bulakenyos (Bulakenyo for men and Bulakenya for women) in the Filipino language.

This is a "serene portrait", of a Filipino woman wearing a Maria Clara gown, a traditional Filipino dress that is composed of four pieces, namely the camisa, the saya (long skirt), the panuelo (neck cover), and the tapis (knee-length overskirt). The name of the dress is an eponym to Maria Clara, the mestiza heroine of Filipino hero José Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere. The woman's clothing in the painting is the reason why the masterpiece is alternately referred to as Maria Clara. It is one of the few canvases done by Luna illustrating Filipino culture. The painting is displayed at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

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