Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle
JEAN Mulatier, the renowned French artist whose caricatures have
appeared in such prestigious publications as Esquire, The
Sunday Times, Playboy and Elle, has recently published
his first book of photography. And very good it is too.
Entitled simply Autumn, it is exactly what it
professes to be - 'a stunning tribute to the majesty of autumn
foliage around the world'.
A total of 137 images, from places as far removed as New England
and Japan, capture the beauty of one of nature's most colourful
spectacles. It's all here, from the simplest to the grandest,
in the intricacy of a single leaf to the abstract splendour of
birch trees reflected in a mountain lake.
Autumn, though, isn't just about leaves. Berries, mists and frosts
all play an integral part and Mulatier has used his camera to
great effect, creating images that communicate the season's distinctive
and varied moods. All that's missing is a bonfire.
Also included are ornamental cabbages - not something I would
have thought to photograph although they are, in fact, quite charming
- as well as the odd duck or two. There are even a few abstracts
thrown in for good measure.
And quite apart from an evocative preface by Mulatier himself,
the whole is interspersed with literary quotations on the relevant
themes of autumn, nature and beauty.
This is a lovely book although, as with everything, it's all
a matter of taste. For myself, I have just one quibble - I wish
it was bigger so that it could truly do justice to its subject.
For to quote John Donne, 'No spring, nor summer beauty hath such
grace. As I have seen in one autumnal face.'