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The Art Book [Hardcover]

Susan Stirling , Ian Chilvers
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1994
Winner of the Illustrated Book of the Year award in 1994, The Art Book has been an outstanding success and has become a well-known landmark in the art book world. Now published in over 20 different languages and in mini, midi and hardback formats, it has received rave reviews from numerous newspapers and magazines and has made many appearances on the bestseller lists. Complemented by The 20th Century Art Book and The American Art Book, its unique approach brings art alive. An A-Z guide to 500 great painters and sculptors from medieval to modern times, it debunks art-historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Each artist is represented by a full-page colour plate of a definitive work, accompanied by explanatory and illuminating information on the image and its creator. Glossaries of artistic movements and technical terms are included, making this a valuable work of reference as well as a feast for the eyes. By breaking with traditional classifications, The Art Book represents a fresh and original approach to art: an unparalleled visual sourcebook and a celebration of our rich and multi-faceted culture.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (1 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714829846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714829845
  • Product Dimensions: 29.8 x 26 x 4.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'An anthology crackling with visual energy.' (The Times)

'A fat, fun volume.' (Newsweek)

'This season's most interesting and accessible reference book.' (Harpers Bazaar)

'Big, fun, well-designed guide to 500 favorite painters and sculptors.' (Wall Street Journal)

'A must for beginners and art critics alike - believe me!' (What's On)

'The art book of the year.' (Art and Craft Magazine)

'Beautifully designed. Thoroughly cross-referenced, the book presents a fresh perspective and is fantastic value.' (The Good Book Guide)

'The Art Book which succeeded in bringing an enormously convoluted subject matter to a mass audience without...compromise.' (The Inverness Courier)

'The ultimate art bluffer’s book has arrived.' (Options)

'It’s an illuminating way of looking at art; and hard to put down!' (Leisure Painter)

'This is the perfect book...something which you can buy and never regret. Dip into it occasionally and you’ll emerge with a slight edge in Trivial Pursuit, but it can also take you by the hand and explain what can seem like a whole different world. Ten stars, or something.' (Oxford Student)

'As a visual source book, its first class and gives you a quick tour of art history without necessarily leaving your chair. If art is a new interest, it’s a great place to start but it will also be welcomed by regular gallery goers and students of art history.' (Brisbane News)

'It's so nicely executed that it’s a pleasure to look at and flick through, and acts very well as a springboard to send you off to look for more of their work.' (Mail on Sunday)

'A new way of looking at art.' (Yorkshire Evening Press)

'Presents a fresh perspective for those new to the study of art.' (The Good Book Guide)

'As close to perfection as you’ll get.' (The Bookseller)

'Brilliantly eccentric.' (Marie Claire)

About the Author

This compilation draws together the research and works of a broad selection of curators, critics, artists, and academics.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible bargain 20 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only a fiver for all this information! The pictures are glorious and some of them are a revelation. Don't believe the bit about "no information" either: each picture has an informative caption describing the work, the artist, and their importance. There is also a useful glossary that doubles up as a concise history of art.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This is a well-informed book, thoroughly researched and beautifully laid out so one can leaf through it at random, letting one's eye linger over the many visual treats the book holds between its covers, or quickly flick through it in one go until a particular picture takes one's fancy. It mixes the well-known with the obscure, such as Roy Lichtenstein's In The Car (which has been an ad campaign favourite of companies on both sides of the Atlantic virtually since its 1963 creation) and Rene Magritte's Treachery Of Images (one of the artist's lesser-known but still very striking works). It is informative about each featured artist, giving a little biographical information, such as family background, when exactly in life the artist started painting, what their social circumstances were and how this affected their creative mindset, if at all. It is a very well-balanced book, giving equal space to the stars of the art world, such as Magritte and Da Vinci (it's a sign of the book's strength that Mona Lisa is just another highlight.) as it does to lesser-known artists, such as Lichtenstein. In each case, the painting, rather than the artist, is the star.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book 26 April 2005
By Louis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Sadly the large editions of this series are just too expensive for my budget. What a great idea to bring out a small edition for about 1/3 of the price!
The pictures in the book are excellent, considering it's size. A wide range of genres are included. Most of the page taken up with full colour photograph with information above and below.
Although, of course, you do lose something with the pictures being smaller this is the same with any book of photos of art - they can ever compare to the real thing. But then that is not the intention of a book.
A must for any student studying Art, and anyone interested in looking at the art.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 23 July 2006
This is a beautiful and inspiring book to flick through. It is perfect coffee table material and great to dip into at odd moments. The quality of the paper is really good, as well as the reproductions of the art inside. This is a wonderful overview of some of the greatest art and artists that the world has seen. Simply stunning.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down 17 July 2004
By A Customer
The reason why i bought this book was as it was on my university book list. I'd passed the book many times in bookstores yet never stoped to look at it.
Now AM i GLAD it was on the list!
This book is a must have for any art student or anybody who has the slightest interest in art. It is easy to cross reference artists, it provides brief yet concise information upon the artist, their characteristic style, and to top it of a full colour image of a characteristic / typical piece of the artist.
Its size means it can be taken anywhere and will fit in your handbag :) and has kept me amused on many bus trips.
You must be crazy not to buy it at this price!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 9 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I first saw this book at a friend's house and enjoyed it so much that I felt I had to have my own copy.The paintings are arranged by artist rather than chronologically which made me look at the work of artists I might otherwise have considered not to my taste.The pictures are beautiful and the commentary interesting and informative.It's a lovely book to dip in to when one has a spare moment.My only criticsm is that the pictures in this version are sometimes too small to appreciate all the details.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
In this book there are examples of every kind of art you can think of! It's majorly inspiring! If you ever thought you were not interested in any kind of art, I can assure you you'll find something you'll love. Just because its an art book doesn't mean to say you can put it down easily!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Art Lovers Book 18 Jun 2007
By Wendy
I have many art books, but none as used and flipped through as this book.

It is easy to use as a reference book and would always be first on my list.

With great colour prints of Artists work, a brief history on each Artist and

an important example of each Artists' work.

It is a great book for students at an affordable price, and handy size.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars my son is so excited getting this
my son is so excited getting this book
Published 7 days ago by dawn jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 11 days ago by Mrs Margaret Oldham
5.0 out of 5 stars love this Book.
Fantastic Book,i love it.
Published 1 month ago by wendy taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Great taster/reference content but would be better if order was...
Alphabetical list of many well known artists each with 1 example of their work and brief details of artist and picture. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BromsgroveMum
5.0 out of 5 stars little art book
great little book. loads of decent photos of paintings, sculptures. photos etc.
all in alphabet order so easy to find the artist.
Published 3 months ago by lee thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars The Art Book
The book did arrive within specified dates but would have been far happier if I could have paid more for a priority service & received sooner. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JosephJoshua21
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Information at Your Fingertips.
This book is chunky and choc full of information on every page. An easy A - Z reference with a painting by each artist on every page - 500 in all, it's a treat and a real feast for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by T. M. Curzon-Manners
4.0 out of 5 stars Art book
I was recommended to get this book by an art teacher.
The book was like brand new & great service from seller.
Published 7 months ago by Martim M Mariner
5.0 out of 5 stars MY ART BOOK-I really love it!
I love this book-I belong to an art appreciation society and this book is brilliant for that. I lost my original copy so was delighted to find this online. Read more
Published 8 months ago by peepo
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fact in a small book
This is a great reference book for anyone interested in, learning about art.
Also great value and well received by the person it was bought for.
Published 10 months ago by Silver Fox
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