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The Collins Big Book of Art: From Cave Art to Pop Art

The Collins Big Book of Art: From Cave Art to Pop Art
Author: David G. Wilkins
ISBN 13: 9780060832858
ISBN 10: 60832851
Edition: 10.2.2005
Publisher: Harper Design
Publication Date: 2005-11-01
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 528
List Price: $39.95

The one book your family needs to understand the world of art. A beautiful, unusual and engaging compendium of art history, providing an accessible entree into the world of art for everyone, regardless of their experience.

From cave paintings to the Renaissance, Impressionism to Pop Art, The Collins Big Book of Art takes you on a journey through the history of art in a delightful and informative way. With more than 1200 works of art represented, this is both a coffee– table book and an educational experience; cross–referenced throughout, and including the following sections and features:

A Chronology spans the history of art, step by step, from 38,000 BC to the present. Pieces from around the world are juxtaposed to place them in historical context. Each is labelled with date, country, title, artist, materials, size and current location. In addition, each piece of art is tied to its movement and key themes, which are pursued in greater detail in the other sections of the book.

Turning Points, interspersed throughout the chronology, delve into both the major artistic movements and highlight the technical breakthroughs which changed how artists of the time worked, and affected how they saw the world. For example, the glass lens allowed more lifelike portraiture in the early Renaissance, the ability to put paint into tubes gave the Impressionists the freedom to work outdoors, and Freud's work in psychoanalysis had a major impact on Surrealism.

The second part of the book explores enduring Themes of art, taking a subject and showing how artists through the ages have depicted it. Various approaches to portraits and landscapes, allegory and religion, still life and abstraction are compared and contrasted, using carefully selected images to illuminate each point made.

In addition, an extensive Reference section allows the reader to access information in numerous ways; the multiple indices include a glossary of terms, artists registry, index of museums, and more.

With easy navigation and an engaging presentation of the material, The Collins Big Book of Art will inform, inspire, and entertain art enthusiasts at any level of understanding and appreciation.

Library Journal

This carefully designed art history text by Zaczek (The Art of the Celts: Origins, History, Culture) and general editor Wilkins, who wrote the introduction, presents the expected story of European art supplemented with works by women, people of color, and non-Western civilizations. Much like a well-ordered web site, the book's indexing and organization allow readers ready access to information according to their interests: history, artistic genre, or theme. A color-coded time line that runs across the top of each page in the first section and spans from 37,000 B.C.E. to the 1960s makes up the heart of the book. This chronology is supplemented by rich, vivid, and noteworthy illustrations as well as short essays. The second section explores artistic themes (e.g., "The Body," "Still-Life") and a reference section, which includes an "Index of Art Styles," a glossary of art terms, and an index of artists, rounds out the book. Although too general for an academic audience, this book works as a complement to such ready reference works as The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (2003). Recommended as a valuable addition to public or fine arts libraries interested in providing easy access to visual information.-Katherine C. Adams, Yale Univ. Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.