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22 Reviews
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have any interest at all in art ...
... buy this book. All too often we visit the National, pause in front of Holbein's The Ambassadors: "it's bigger than I expected", and walk on. This book explains what we are missing: the crucifix hidden in the curtain, the lute with its broken string, the hymnal open at two of Luther's hymns, the distorted skull.

The book is organised into six chronological...
Published on 31 Oct 2010 by G. Gilpin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars art book - not for beginners
Went through an art phase a while ago so I bought this as it was fairly reasonable, if I knew anything about art it would quite a good book but as I am a total beginner/amateur i found it a bit too deep. Would suit art students much better than the average beginner!
Published 5 months ago by dylbob


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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have any interest at all in art ..., 31 Oct 2010
By 
G. Gilpin "Geoff" (Northamptonshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
... buy this book. All too often we visit the National, pause in front of Holbein's The Ambassadors: "it's bigger than I expected", and walk on. This book explains what we are missing: the crucifix hidden in the curtain, the lute with its broken string, the hymnal open at two of Luther's hymns, the distorted skull.

The book is organised into six chronological periods, from prehistory to modern day. In a few pages each period is introduced to provide the background and context after which a number of individual pieces are described. For example, in the chapter on the 19th Century there is a section on Post-Impressionism which illustrates specific works by Seurat, van Gogh and Cezanne. Each piece is given a double spread showing and describing the work, providing some detailed "focal points" which help in the interpretation, and giving a profile of the artist. There is also usually a small piece on a related topic - with the Bayeux Tapestry, for example, there is a panel on narrative art.

As with all Thames & Hudson's books the production and quality of illustrations are superb.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Resource for Art History students, 30 July 2012
This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
I lecture in art history and have recommended this book to all my students, particularly those on The History of Art in an Hundred Paintings. It's very clearly set out, with great illustrations. It includes non-western art (at last!) and clear timelines. Do I always agree with all the interpretations? No. But it doesn't matter because the book should be a starting point that you keep coming back to.
Why isn't it 5 star?
1. The contemporary sections are less comprehensive. Fair enough. Contemporary art is so diverse and we are probably too close to assess which works should be included.
2. My usual gripe - women artists are under-represented. No Lavinia Fontana, Artemesia Gentileschi, Vigee Le Brun, why give Epstein 2 pages and Hepworth a paragraph (grr!!)etc. But if you read this in conjunction with Whitney Chadwick's Women, Art and Society then you'll get a better picture.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art in itself, 16 Oct 2010
By 
C. Rudd (North Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
A truly beautiful book, made me weep with delight. The page layout is exquisite, each page a work of art in itself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable way to learn, 31 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
this book is perfect for a level art as it helps students with the formal elements and descriptions of art and is a good price
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!, 22 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
This book explains the lot! It answers all those questions you felt unable to ask because it made you look like you knew absolutely nothing about art. The layout is first class as is the presentation of all the pieces. It should be in everybody's home library - brilliant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring and comprehensive history of world art., 7 Mar 2014
By 
Jazzrook (Purbrook , Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
'Art: The Whole Story', written by an international team of experts, is one of the most comprehensive and informative art books that I've come across.
After a foreword by art historian and critic Richard Cork there is an illuminating introduction followed by chapters on 'Prehistory to 15th Century'; '15th and 16th Century'; '17th and 18th Century'; '19th Century'; '1900 to 1945' & '1946 to Present Day'.
The richly illustrated text covers every genre of art from painting and sculpture to conceptual art and performance art with detailed analysis of individual masterpieces. The book concludes with a useful glossary of art-historical and other terms that appear in the text.
This inspiring, accessible and endlessly browseable book should help anyone to have a greater understanding and appreciation of art.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the beginner!, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
I bought this book because I wanted to a brief introduction to art history, a subject about which I know nothing. So, after having completed it and feeling on the whole an awful lot more knowledgeable about art, I think it's safe to say that this book excels in its aim.

The book's layout is clear, concise and very easy to use. There is a double (sometimes quadruple) page spread giving a brief outline of a period, movement or region, for example: African Art; Impressionism, and High Renaissance. On each of these introduction pages are numerous examples of art from the relevant period, and a timeline at the bottom of the page giving the reader a little historical context. Following the introduction pages are usually a couple of examples from the relevant period which are covered in more detail, and there is a brief biography of the artist (where known). Small boxes on these pages are also good, as they give details of various things that might be interesting for the reader, such as inspiration or historical context.

The quality of the reproductions in this book is (as far as I can tell, never having seen any of the pieces in the flesh) fantastic. Unlike other art history books that contain pictures with muted colours or black and white reproductions, this book has many, bright, detailed, full-colour images.

Another good point is that the book includes (albeit not in as much detail) information about art that is not Western. Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Indian, African, Latin American and Australasian art are all mentioned in the book, giving insights into art that the reader might otherwise have overlooked.

My one complaint would be that in the introductions, and occasionally in the short biographies of the artists, are mentioned works of art that are not actually on the page, and my suggested improvement would be either include a small "gallery" at the back, or perhaps just put the pictures on the page. Though, on the whole this is only a minor bugbear.

On the whole: perfect for those who know little about art; well written, detailed, colourful and interesting.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Art book, 1 Nov 2011
By 
JPM "JPM" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
I rate this book as One of the best; for this book
1) Covers every genre of art i.e. from paintings, sculpture & photographs to conceptual art
2) Comprehensive; it features more than 1100 illustrations
3) Classified on the basis of Chronology & Geography (gives me a Lucky Discoverer feeling)

I highly recommend this book to everyone
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
Beautiful but lovely to flick through, it's in our living room so anyone can have a flick through
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5.0 out of 5 stars An easy at-a-glance way to learn more about art, 5 July 2014
This review is from: Art: The Whole Story (Paperback)
This book is exactly what I was looking for. An easy at-a-glance way to learn more about art, as I love going to art galleries and so on, but often feel like I could have a bit more background info to help me appreciate it fully. It's arranged in chronological order, but you can also dip in and out. Oh, and it's absolutely loaded with pictures, so it satisfies your inner child at the same time!
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Art: The Whole Story
Art: The Whole Story by Richard Cork (Paperback - 20 Sep 2010)
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