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Isms: Understanding Art [Paperback]

Stephen Little
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2004
This is an easy to use guide to a wide range of art 'isms'. From the isms of the Renaissance to the isms of now, it gives a practical introduction to all the significant isms that have shaped art history. For each ism, there is a definition, an introduction to the topic, lists of key artists, key words, and key works as well as suggestions of other isms that the reader might be interested in. This book should be a must for everyone who is interested in art - whether they be Sunday afternoon visitors to galleries, art students or the more knowledgeable art connoisseur.

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Isms: Understanding Art + Art: The Whole Story + 50 Artists You Should Know: From Giotto to Warhol (50 You Should Know)
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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: 14.3 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,551 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

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really nice and informative 14 Aug 2010
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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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent jargon-buster 13 May 2007
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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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
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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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brillant first book from erudite art historian 22 Sep 2006
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
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD SUMMARY 11 April 2009
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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3.0 out of 5 stars a bit like the top trumps of art 16 May 2014
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for art lovers 4 Mar 2014
By tara
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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5.0 out of 5 stars good quality 25 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
is a good companion for any art course college or uni it shows time line of all the art periods as well as an explanation and examples
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended as a dip in reference to help clear the ...
a very organised zip through the messy changes and 'revolutions' of Western art. highly recommended as a dip in reference to help clear the confused art-head.
Published 1 month ago by H
5.0 out of 5 stars Isms
Bought as a Christmas present. The recipient was very pleased. Clear explinations of the movements and principal players in art history
Published 6 months ago by V. Thomas-Mellor
5.0 out of 5 stars Art teacher must have
A must have for art teachers and schools, quick easy to read information and examples in order which makes contextual studies a breeze
Published 6 months ago by Jade
5.0 out of 5 stars Studying fine art
College student doing fine art brilliant for references have to go through all eras of art and this helps with projects
Published 7 months ago by die Hackett Mooney
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I needed something easy to read to give me a quick intro to some of the isms I had to learn about for an art module I was doing at uni. It served this purpose perfectly. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
My dad is and artist and this was bought as a gift. I have heard that the book has good content and views on the "isms of art".
Published 9 months ago by mr Tommy Fairweather
4.0 out of 5 stars handy
This book is really useful as a starting point if you don't know as much as you should about art movements. Read more
Published 12 months ago by alexis mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful little book
Clearly written and useful information on art movements. Good to dip in to providing a basic overview on art movements and artists.
Published 14 months ago by Krystyna
5.0 out of 5 stars Course
I'm doing a course on art history and needed a book to place the variety of painting schools into some kind of logical
order. This little book does that excellently.
Published 18 months ago by K. Hodgson
5.0 out of 5 stars Extensive and highly informative yet concise and easy to understand
This book is the perfect beginners guide to understanding art terminology and the links between artistic movements. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Saul Pinnell
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