30,000 Years of Art: The story of human creativity across time and space Hardcover – 9 Oct 2007
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'1,000 beautiful plates … illustrate such a variety of objects that even the most erudite reader is bound to find something new.'
The Sunday Telegraph
'one for the cultured armchair traveller looking for inspiration for future journeys.'
'This enormous tome of encyclopedic proportions is an essential addition to any library.'
'this is a book art-lovers and cultural anthropologists-scholars and laypeople alike-are guaranteed to cherish.'
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Furthermore the book is huge, with a great layout and and helpful index which probably makes it useful for those who want to learn a bit more about art as well as those who just want to appreciate the beautiful images.
If you are used to seeing the art canon displayed in a certain way, this book will expand your horizons. I was amazed at how many prehistoric works are just as abstract and "modern" as works I see produced today. The repetition of themes (such as the ubiquitous pregnant female) across cultures was also fascinating.
One of the nice surprises was that small objects are illustrated to scale so you approximate the experience of seeing the object in a museum from one angle.
I was also pleased by the large page size that allows larger works to be represented in a way that made more detail available to see. The drawback to the book is that there are no foldouts which would have many many of the enormous screens and sculptures easier to see in detail.
I found the book to be most rewarding in showing me art from countries that I seldom see works from and for providing lots of prehistoric works.
From a religious point of view the book is pretty ecumenical in terms of the major religions (except those that frown on literally representing what's on Earth).
Don't think, however, that this book will replace buying other art books. Many obvious world favorites aren't in this book. I don't know if it was for reasons of economy (reproduction rights being costly for important works) or to expand our horizons. I mentally "looked" at those works where they fell in chronological order.
The photography and printing are excellent. Bravo!
The main drawback is that the book is very heavy. I found that I could most comfortably read it in a recliner with a pillow to help hold up the heavier side.
If you decide to give only one art book as a gift this year, this is the book to give!
As the review above observes, it's a bit like having your own private wing of the British Museum or the National Gallery. Whilst there's not that much detail on the individual works (about as much as you might see in an exhibition catalogue) there's enough to whet your appetite and to find out more if you want.
But it's the variety that really sets this book apart. It's rare to find such a wide selection 'under one roof', and reading through one really does begin to get a feel for the chronological development of art as an adjunct to our daily lives over the past 30,000 years.
It is difficult to explain just how huge this book is - the dimensions and page count give you some idea, but perhaps the only disadvantage of it is that I spent so long engrossed in it I found its weight on my lap was sending my legs to sleep...
And it's full of well written essays in pleasingly bite size form, accompanying excellent photographs and reproductions.
The format, considering art from a historical perspective, is fresh and fascinating, this book gives more of a sense of the history of humanity than almost any book on anthropology I have ever read, and it's beautiful.
Got it for my girlfriend for Christmas, can there be higher praise?
However, there is one incredible and extremely puzzling omission: there are no pure watercolour paintings in the whole book (a few acrylic but that is it). Not one pure watercolour! And for that reason I can only give it three stars. This is even more remarkable as Phaidon produce an excellent series of art books depicting various painters and a plethora of their works. In the unlikely chance that any editor of Phaidon who produced this enormous book reads this review - please help to clear my bemused mind and explain why you did not include even a single watercolour painting in a book covering 30,000 years?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
During my fd in fine art I have an allowance for books and went crazy buying any art book that took my fancy. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Cass
This was an excellent purchase for someone with little knowledge of the subject.Published 23 months ago by L Quow
This book is huge and very heavy, reminds me of the first books, and probably should be chained to a lectern so it doesn't get stolen!. Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2011 by S J F Robinson
I would give, yes give, this book to every child - it is a wonderful, magical and yet totally real and logical introduction to the possibilities, the weaknesses, the limits and... Read morePublished on 27 July 2010 by SE STEVENSON
This is a beautiful book, the illustrations are large and well printed which makes it a pleasure to browse through. Read morePublished on 7 July 2010 by Laura Hughes