on 10 January 2000
As a follower and fan of Victorian art, this book was a treat to the eyes and mind. It more than covered the bases, and the reproductions were top-notch. For some odd reason, the cover didn't catch my attention (even though Waterhouse is amazing), but as I opened the book, it was really quite breathtaking, and well worth the purchase!
This veritable doorstep of a book is a quite valiant attempt by its author to provide a truly comprehensive overview of Victorian painting and largely, he succeeds most admirably.
The product description above gives you the details; the 600 illustrations are of varying sizes throughout the book and are quite well reproduced. In addition to all the usual suspects - the Pre-Raphaelites, Turner, Constable, Wilkie, etc., there is proper mention of less well-known but influential groups and individuals such as the Newlyn School, the Glasgow Boys, McTaggart, Atkinson Grimshaw etc., even better there are chapters highlighting the often ignored work of women artists, social-realist artists, fairy painting and animal and sporting artists. The chapter on colonial art is likely to be illuminating to those who have never encountered the Australian "Heidelberg" school, one of the finest and most overlooked group of painters in my opinion - how I wish there'd been more of their pictures reproduced.
In addition to the cornucopia of paintings the text is really worth reading, a scholarly and genuinely enlightening volume.
An easy five star recommendation, your art library isn't complete without it.
on 8 February 2013
The book is one big piece of knowledge, it's litterally heavy with content, and that's the kind of book you want to have in your collection, as you can browse it endlessly.
It covers the whole era from major styles like the pre-raphaelites to more academic painting.
Very enjoyable, for art experts as well as rookies like me.