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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Sculptures, Landscapes and Portraits!
As a person of Scottish heritage, I must admit the title drew me in initially. So I glanced at the reproductions in the book, and quickly saw that there was much high quality Scottish art that I had not yet seen. I was then pleasantly surprised to see that the book was an overview of Scottish art from the Neolithic period to the present.
Scotland was influenced by...
Published on 20 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overly Compressed But Interesting in Parts
This lavishly illustrated and erudite book is interesting but suffers from an obvious drawback; it is trying to cover a large subject in a relatively small book.
The first two chapters on early history and the development of Christian art are interesting and are given space to fully explain and supply adequate detail for this complicated period of Scottish history...
Published on 20 May 2011 by Dr. R. Brandon


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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Sculptures, Landscapes and Portraits!, 20 May 2004
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Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scottish Art (World of Art) (Paperback)
As a person of Scottish heritage, I must admit the title drew me in initially. So I glanced at the reproductions in the book, and quickly saw that there was much high quality Scottish art that I had not yet seen. I was then pleasantly surprised to see that the book was an overview of Scottish art from the Neolithic period to the present.
Scotland was influenced by many cultures, starting with its Celtic roots, while adding Roman, French, Viking, and Dutch flavors. The Celtic designs continue to show themselves over the centuries, even currently. The other influences show up in magnificent landscapes and robust portraits.
Thus, the viewer will be struck by several qualities of Scottish art. First, the art will remind you of other outstanding art you have seen in other countries. Second, the art is also more vigorous and emotional than its counterparts elsewhere. Third, the variety and quality of expression are remarkable coming from such a small land.
If you are like me, you are just starting to learn about Scottish art. Let me commend to you the standing stones at Calanais on the Isle of Lewis for the Scottish version of Stonehenge as well as the cup and ring marked rock at Achnabreck from the earliest periods of Scottish art. The portraits of Allan Ramsay in the mid 18th century show a mastery of the medium that is quite admirable, which are complimented by the portraits of Henry Raeburn at the end of the century. John Knox and Horatio McCulloch produced magnificant landscapes in the early 19th century that evoke the feeling of the Hudson River School in the United States.
I much admired the portraits of Robert Scott Lauder in the mid-19th century, as well. William McTaggart's The Coming of St. Columba beautifully combines Christian and natural themes in 1895. James Guthrie's The Hind's Daughter is an eloquent exploration of rural life.
Modern styles are exquisitely portrayed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, through Art Nouveau. J.D. Ferguson presents wonderfully Fauve-like works filled with color and vigor.
I was pleased to see that women artists were well represented. I especially admired Cecile Walton's Romance from 1920 in which she plays with the theme of Olympia by showing herself partially undraped in bed holding an infant. The colors and compositions of Dorothy Johnstone were also appealing. William Crozier also produced wonderfully cubist landscapes. The abstract Mauve Landscape by W.G. Gillies shows the kind of gifted movement towards abstraction apparent in the early works of Miro. Eduardo Paolozzi's sculptures of the 1950s could also have just as easily been done by Picasso or Miro. The abstract works of Callum Innes and Jack Knox could just as easily have come from the New York School. Jake Harvey's Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial from 1982-84 is a wonderful overview sculpture piece, capturing a sense of all of the strains of Scottish art. I heartily commend it to you.
Professor Macdonald has done a wonderful job with this book. The only complaints I have about the book are that the type is very tiny and there are fewer color plates than I would have liked. However, encouraged by my art historian son who just visited Scotland and raved about the art, I'm sure I can overcome that with a Scottish art tour. I can hardly wait!
Overcome your misconception that great art was only produced in certain countries as certain times. Lesser known works can often provide even greater enjoyment, particularly if you have a connection to them through your own tastes and heritage. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overly Compressed But Interesting in Parts, 20 May 2011
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Dr. R. Brandon (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scottish Art (World of Art) (Paperback)
This lavishly illustrated and erudite book is interesting but suffers from an obvious drawback; it is trying to cover a large subject in a relatively small book.
The first two chapters on early history and the development of Christian art are interesting and are given space to fully explain and supply adequate detail for this complicated period of Scottish history. John Knox saw to it with his sermon against idolatry in 1559 that much of Scottish art to that date, particularly work to be found in churches, was destroyed. The recovery that occurred in the eighteenth century is well reviewed with the activities of the `Select Society', which included leading artists such as Allan Ramsay as well as eminent philosophers, and the founding of the first academies of art in both Glasgow and Edinburgh adequately covered. Similarly the author provides a good account of the work of Henry Raeburn and Alexander Nasmyth and the great founder of the school of Scottish history genre painting, David Wilkie, who account for the transition into the early nineteenth century. However, as the book moves further into the century the narrative becomes rather more compressed as the number of artists increases. In fact, I would suggest, the text will now be found to be somewhat bewildering to anyone not already familiar with the subject. It is only with the chapter on the Glasgow School of painting whose artists were often referred to as the `Glasgow Boys' that a grip can be taken on the narrative. The arrival of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his circle who will be familiar to many readers provides a welcome respite to the onward rush. The Edinburgh based `Colourists', including Peploe and J. D. Fergusson are briefly covered and then the forward dash through a further bewildering array of artists is resumed, sometimes resulting in just lists of names being provided until finally a selection of contemporary painters are mentioned without any elaboration.
In an effort to cover this large subject the author has reduced the detail in certain areas to such an extent that the reader cannot relate to the artist or their work and interest is lost. However, in those sections where ample space is provided then the knowledge and erudition of the author is obvious and the book is a pleasure to read. It may well be that some parts of the book would reward repeated reading. Despite the copious illustrations many of the works mentioned in the text are not shown.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent background, 14 Dec 2012
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Ms. Fiona Allen "catlover" (edinburgh, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scottish Art (World of Art) (Paperback)
I love the cover picture on this book, and the contents do not disappoint. I took it to NYC with me as a hostess gift and presented it on the day we left; I'm happy to say she was thrilled and actually started reading it on the spot! Scottish Art covers quite a range, and this book is a painless introduction to what might seem baffling. It's a definite addition to any collection of books about art.
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Scottish Art (World of Art)
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