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The Art Book [Paperback]

Editors of Phaidon Press
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $21.94  
Paperback, April 17 1997 --  
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The Art Book The Art Book 4.7 out of 5 stars (23)
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Book Description

April 17 1997
This user-friendly book is an alphabetical reference guide to 500 of the world's greatest painters and sculptors, from antiquity to the present. Measuring roughly 5 by 6-1/2 inches and now in paperback, The Art Book is not only affordable, but also light, compact, and extremely portable, completely reforming the concept of an art reference book. It is perfect for the coffee table or for the backpack or pocketbook as well. Each artist is represented by a full-color plate and by explanatory and illuminating information on both the image and the artist. Cross references are provided to other artists in the book, and glossaries of technical terms and artistic movements are also included, making the book a valuable reference tool in the art library. Presented are some of the most famous artists of all time and their greatest masterworks--never before have they been so accessible as they are in this format.

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Product Description

From Amazon

This user-friendly book is an alphabetical reference guide to 500 of the world's greatest painters and sculptors, from antiquity to the present. Measuring roughly 5 by 6-1/2 inches and now in paperback, The Art Book is not only affordable, but also light, compact, and extremely portable, completely reforming the concept of an art reference book. It is perfect for the coffee table or for the backpack or pocketbook as well. Each artist is represented by a full-color plate and by explanatory and illuminating information on both the image and the artist. Cross references are provided to other artists in the book, and glossaries of technical terms and artistic movements are also included, making the book a valuable reference tool in the art library. Presented are some of the most famous artists of all time and their greatest masterworks--never before have they been so accessible as they are in this format.

Review

'An anthology crackling with visual energy' The Times '..as close to perfection as you'll get.' The Bookseller 'Beautifully designed...revolutionary...a perfect present' Good Book Guide 'Big, fun, well designed' Wall Street Journal 'A great resource' The Washingtonian 'Innovative' Chicago Sun Times 'As a visual source book, its first class and gives you a quick tour of art history without necessarily leaving your chair. If art is a new interest, it's a great place to start but it will also be welcomed by regular gallery goers and students of art history.' Brisbane News

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of centuries of art Feb. 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Arranged alphabetically, which is very helpful. Sadly, it has generally but only one painting or photo for each artist, but then the intent here is to cover as many artists as possible, not to be comprehensive on any one artist, and it's quite heavy as it is already.
The Art Book is an EXCELLENT reference guide. How many times reading the Arts section of a newspaper, or an interview with an artist, etc., does one hear a reference to another artist and one has no idea who that person is? With this book, you can quickly check it out!
I also very much appreciate the cross-linking - since it's alphabetical, and not by style or school of thought, the editors have listed on each artists's page other artists who are similar or somehow related to that one. I have found the cross-referencing to be very helpful many times.
Unless one already has an encyclopedic knowledge of 500 years of art, this is a PERFECT book for one's art library as a reference tool. And it's also a GREAT jumping off point for exploring artists: page through randomly, come across something interesting, then go and look for a book of that artist, or head to the museum "in search of."
I treasure my copy, and would not ever wish to part with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars diminutive in size but not in value June 28 2002
By audrey
Format:Paperback
This valuable little book, at approximately 6-1/2 by 5 inches, packs a lot of information and pleasure into a little package. Five hundred artists, from Agasse to Zurbaran, are represented. Each painter or sculptor gets one page that features a full-color print (covering about two-thirds of the page); a paragraph of text that discusses the artist's work in general, the specific work depicted, and cross-references to similar artists; information about the artist and the piece, including the artist's place and year of birth and death, the work's title, date, medium/materials, physical dimensions and current location.
Presented alphabetically, rather than chronologically, this dynamic little tome makes great browsing, and helps you to look at art in a way we don't usually -- outside of its historical context. The paper and color plates are of the first quality and the text is informative. It's fun to see which work was chosen as typical of your favorite artists, and it's fun to try and guess the period in which an artist worked before you read the information.
Because so much is fit into such a small volume, some readers may be frustrated at the small print, though the font is quite clean. The book closes with glossaries of technical terms and artistic movements and a directory of museums and galleries, organized by country, that includes address, phone number and a list of the book's works that they own. (Maybe the next edition will also include web sites?)
Phaidon Press has done you a service by publishing this pithy treasure. Buy it now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars diminutive in size but not in value June 28 2002
By audrey
Format:Paperback
This valuable little book, at approximately 6-1/2 by 5 inches, packs a lot of information and pleasure into a little package. Five hundred artists, from Agasse to Zurbaran, are represented. To each painter or sculptor one page is devoted, featuring a full-color print (covering about two-thirds of the page); a paragraph of text that discusses the artist's work in general, the specific work depicted, and cross-references to similar artists; information about the artist and the piece including the artist's place and year of birth and death, the work's title, date, medium/materials, physical dimensions and current location.
Presented alphabetically rather than chronologically, this dynamic little tome makes great browsing, and helps you to look at art in a way we don't usually -- outside of its historical context. The color plates and paper are of the first quality, and the text is delightful -- as if you had a very smart and articulate mentor who could describe an artist or a movement in a way that actually makes sense. I've read several books on artistic aesthetics, hoping to find a better appreciation for the art that I mainly enjoy viscerally and IMHO, these pithy remarks do as well or better than those whole books.
It's fun to see which work was chosen as typical of your favorite artists, and it's fun to try and guess the period in which an artist worked before you read the information. Just the kind of book to leave out when guests are over, and the price is so reasonable and the size so manageable that this is an art book I can leave out for kids to enjoy too.
Because so much is fit into such a small volume, some readers may be frustrated at the small print, though the font is quite clean.
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Format:Paperback
Give this book to your children. Why? Because you will find out if they really have any interests on the arts. If NOT, read and see it for yourself - it's a real treasure and it will show you more about The Arts as you may see visiting galleries, museums etc. in a lifetime. If YES, when your child shows interests, read and see it too, talk about and who knows, maybe you have an artist in your family or - even this is possible: YOU are the artist! I am an artist, an Installation Art Sculptor and learned from this little handy guide how to look on art. I read it in two days from "alpha to omega". Now I know: THE ART BOOK is my book and my gallery. I wonder why our kids don't get it in schools. They would know about The Arts in some hours more than most of the teachers. Is art education needed? When yes! How much it will cost? THE ART BOOKS itself will give you a good answer. Buy it! Give it to your children, friends .... and to art teachers as a guide. Sincerely - Jan A. Loeffler, Yes2Art originator.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic resource and introduction
This book looks at a huge assortment of artists in almost every style of art. No preference is given, no comparative analysis between styles or artists. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mitch Vatch
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, beautiful
A great book, simply said. Not too wordy, and great artwork to see. Introduce yourself to all kinds of art.
Published on March 25 2004 by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Every Personal Library
The Art Book catalogs, alphabetically, 500 artists spanning from medieval to modern. It also includes helpful glossarys of both techincal terms and artistic movements, as well as a... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by "trailer_princess"
5.0 out of 5 stars More Visual Treats
This is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the history of art. Not only intelligently organized (alphabetically), but colorful & detailed. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by felicitaz
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaches it's aim...
This is a great book to increase knowledge about the art hisory and culture in a very quick way...
Some of the universities that me and my mate wanted to study asked for art... Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quick Intro to Art
For people who are interested in art, but don't want to get bogged down with a long series of dates and other supplemental materials, this book is the way to go. Read more
Published on July 26 2001 by Kelnar
5.0 out of 5 stars handy dandy
I've used this book countless times for research, etc. It's a reference guide to 500 artists, and on one small page gives what is usually their most famous piece (Leonardo da... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2000 by Alejandra Vernon
4.0 out of 5 stars Juxtaposition at its Best
What some books take volumes to convey, this book often provides in a page long description. Listing the artists alphabetically provides a lovely contrast; seeing two random works... Read more
Published on March 21 2000 by "lovelyrita"
4.0 out of 5 stars good little reference
... and I do mean a LITTLE reference! Will easily slip into purse or backpack. You might also need a magnifying glass to read the text, though. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2000
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