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Mirror of the World: A New History of Art

 
 
 
 
Mirror of the World: A New History of Art
Author: Julian Bell
ISBN 13: 9780500287545
ISBN 10: 500287546
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication Date: 2010-08-18
Format: Paperback
Pages: 496
List Price: $34.95
 
 

“Exuberant, astute, and splendidly illustrated history of world art . . . draws fascinating parallels between artistic developments in Western and non-Western art.”—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Bell's guidelines in writing this exuberant, astute and splendidly illustrated history of world art-spanning the cave paintings of Lascaux through contemporary artists such as Julie Mehretu-are threefold: every work is complemented by a reproduction, the narrative is chronological, and art is viewed as "a frame within which world history, in all its breadth, is continually reflected back at us." Bell (500 Self-Portraits; What Is Painting? Representation and Modern Art) is a renowned critic, artist, and professor of art history, and son of artist and critic Quentin Bell; he writes of his personal "pleasure" in creating and studying art. Bell draws fascinating parallels between artistic developments in Western and non-Western art: a discussion of Brancusi highlights the influence of West African carving on his work; one of Borromini's domes is juxtaposed with its near contemporary in the Masjid-e-Shah mosque in Isfahan. The survey is selective, presenting some typically overlooked works, but Bell trains his probing perspective on each. His conclusion is unpretentious: he advises readers to supplement his study with "finer-grained art histories" and to "get close to the work itself." Best, he says, is to make things oneself: "What happens in art is up to you." This unique study will appeal to anyone-from the generalist to the scholar-interested in a discriminating and perceptive history of world art. Illus. (Oct.)

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