A World History of Art Paperback – 1 Aug 2005
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Over two decades, this art historical tour de force has consistently proved the classic introduction to humanity's artistic heritage. -- Good Book Guide
The most desirable art book of the year -- The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Over two decades, this art historical tour de force has consistently proved the classic introduction to humanity's artistic heritage. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book traces the evolution in the visual arts including architecture from the paleolithic era to the beginning of the 21st century and covers every continent and culture. With over 1400 illustrations, half of them in full colour and an array of maps, diagrams, time charts, an outstanding glossary, an excellent list of suggested further book reading and index comprises a complete and comprehensive text. An interesting feature in the book are the boxes which in this edition have been expanded to include additional areas apart from 'Sources and Documents' and 'In Context' which, however, correctly prevail.
The wide array of considerations in the book treatment of such complex issue as art can best be appreciated by citing two excerpts from the introduction which relate to our perception of art and its place in the scheme of human affairs and the human condition:
'The essential unity of aesthetic, moral and natural experience can be felt in them (works of art) in varying degrees, and they sharpen our awarness of how richly it falls on the receptive consciousness.Read more ›
The book spans Art from early man to the present day, thus giving a broad overview of the trends and main occurrences. The text, while I have just flicked through it, is lucid and doesn't expect the reader to know everything, so it is a good introduction to the History of Art. Nevertheless, as some reviewers have noted, this can be a downfall in itself- it cannot go into as much detail as specific books can. It depends on what you want; as a reference book it is fantastic, with stunning illustrations. You can spend ages dipping into it, just looking at the photos and diagrams.
Particularly interesting, were the 'In Context', 'Sources and Documents' and 'Concept' boxes. These succinctly flesh out the reader's understanding of a particular period e.g. when talking about art in the Americas, there is a page on the Religion and Society in Ancient Peru. Often the context of a piece gives a better insight into it, so the book does score on that. The sources and documents range from Vitruvius's writings on Roman painting to Veronese's Interrogation by the Inquisition and thus give the reader a flavour of what contempory people wrote or did; while the Concept boxes help to explain key terms and ideas, such as 'Art for Art's Sake' and 'Modernism and Formalism.' I also liked that the book went right up to the present day (the edition I have was revised in 2009) so has current ideas and concepts in art; it is well worth getting the most recent edition as they do update the text.
Overall, it is a broad yet lucid insight into the global History of Art and it will take a long time to devour it, but it is well-worth it.
This would be the book I would take.
Respecting the breadth of its scope it is most certainly not definitive. It does signpost what to look at, what to look for and what can be seen. Importantly, for me, is that it's not restricted to the w.a.s.p. traditional art schools and does try to give access to global images.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book packed with illustrations and information. Huge and heavy but arrived well packed and in perfect condition.Published 1 month ago by MRS M G RADFORD
Extensive work, 1000 pages long, has some obvious omissions, but that can be forgiven by the sheer task the authors took on to cover such a vast subject matter, it says it has sold... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nick
I recommend this book if you are studying Level two and level three courses in Art History with the Open University it is a fantastic read and supports your course materials that... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Miss M
I am happy with my purchase. I recommend it to everyonePublished 17 months ago by José Carlos de Oliveira
This is such an accessible book and so useful. I was recommended this book when I was studying History of Art at AS level and I am still using it as an entry point to new topics... Read morePublished 19 months ago by feeearner
I am very disappointed with this book which claims to be a World History of Art but is, in fact, just a slightly tarted up standard history of Western European Art. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Complete book! Together with "The story of art", you will have a complete collection.Published 20 months ago by Shamim Keshavarz