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Isms: Understanding Art Paperback – 4 Oct 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (4 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713670118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713670110
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.6 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Little is a graduate of the Courtauld Institute. He is currently the editor of the Royal Academy website and he is the frequent contributor to various art journals.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By i4colour on 14 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
At the time of buying this book, I was thinking about doing a History of Art course and thought that this book would help me along the way.
It is a very informative book, that is seperated into several colour codes sections so it's easier to read and use.
The sections are:
Renaissance, Baroque & Rococo, The 19th Century, Modernism, and Post-Modernism.

The book is well laid out, and even has instructions on how to use it!!
The book looks at some different paintings and artists of that era and discusses the meanings of the isms. It showcases a selection of work from that time and includes the name of the artist and a short description about the painting.
As well as the painting in hand, it offers names of other work that you may be interested in.

It's a great size as well so could easily fit into a handbag or rucksack if you wanted to take it to galleries as a reference guide.

I am really happy with this book, and although it may not 100% benefit the history of art course, it will certainly give me a better understanding of isms and the understanding of the terms.

I highly recommend this book.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Mark Meynell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 May 2007
Format: Paperback
academics and historians are always on the look out for categories, labels and jargon - fair enough at one level, i suppose. The problem is that their jargon can all too easily create a distance from the art they describe for the mere mortals who inhabit the normal world - which is ironic because the greatest artists nearly always wanted to communicate with real people, because they were communicating truth and reality. this book is a great antidote to all the jargon and isms - and helps the total novice to get a handle on the different 'isms' by actually looking at some headline pictures that epitomise them. Easy to use, easy on the eye and an easy book to pick up and glance thru. Good job!
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful By "jonathan9523" on 4 Aug 2005
Format: Turtleback
A little masterpiece! This quirkily written book by the novelist Stephen Little is something I'm determined to slide into all my friends stockings this Christmas! His style is whimsical, edgy, informative, direct, sometimes surprising and deliciously slick. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of something more weighty by the same author on the bookshelves. It's rare that a writer can grab a movement by the balls and slap it down on paper as succcinctly as this. If you're on a flight to any one of Europe's capitals, pop this in your seat pocket and your trip will be all the richer because I guarantee you'll be off to Art Gallery as soon as your feet hit the tarmac! JM-L (Artist)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S.G.H on 2 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a lovely little gem. It is basically as illustrated book explaining all the isms of art, such as romanticism, classicism, etc.

Quality: The cover is lovely and sturdy, the paper quality is great, the art is gorgeous, in fact the entire book exudes class. You can tell alot of care went into creating the book

Content: The book starts with a useful guide on how to use the book. Each era (renaissance, baroque & rococo, 19th century, modernism, post-modernism) is color coded which makes it easy to navigate the book.

For each era and art style, a short description and given with an explanation of what the particular 'ism' means. There is a wealth of beautiful art used to demonstrate the difference between each style and many other suggestions are given for hours of enjoyment.

What I love about this book is that although I'm very ignorant when it comes to art, I never found this book hard to follow. And although the information given in the book are simple and easy to digest, I finished it feeling that I have a pretty good grasp on the different styles and trend. In fact, this book is now my favorite companion when I visit art museums.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By stella designs on 22 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
equally great for those wishing to brush up on their isms or new to isms entirely...never have art movements been so succinctly and adeptly dealt with...a great resource for the classroom or living room

like jonathan9523 i can't wait to see what Mr. Little writes next
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Martha Campos Perez on 11 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Very practical book to have a brief but acurate idea of art styles. It is very synthetic, maybe too much as each chapter gives the information in the minimum possible words, but as at the beginning it is explained the meaning of the utilized symbols, it can be followed as soon as you get familiar with a couple of styles. It is like art dictionary to be consulted at any time, not to be read in any specific order. It is worth having it but don't expect any deep analysis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book appeared to be what I wanted. I enjoy art galleries, but I have no art background and only a limited understanding of art history and I wanted something that gave me some insight into the different isms, and this is ok. But it is quite superficial and really would have benefited from more depth in its writing, at least on the major isms.
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By tara on 4 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great little book, which is easy to understand and has a few images as examples on each ism. I would recommend this to anyone just starting out. l bought it for uni and its not to big and heavy, just the size of a normal novel but with fewer pages.
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