Friday, 16 July 2010

Book Review: 100 Great Artists


100 Great Artists: A Visual Journey from Fra Angelico to Andy Warhol

Synopsis: A list of 100 artists through the ages. Each artist gets a double page spread, a timeline, two images and a short narrative.  Recently published in the UK
Summary review:  This book is good introduction to great artists for a reasonable price.  There is no definitive list of 100 great artists but this one is a good effort.  It's also a good place to start for those wanting to learn more about the leading artists over time.  Their importance is distilled down to a potted version - but it's a good book for getting a sense of who the artist was, when and where they created art, what their paintings look like and for some - why they were important.
  • covers different periods in art history over eight centuries from Giotto in the 13th century to Hockney in the 21st.
  • includes artists from a range of countries
  • useful for a skim review of artists who played a significant role in the development of some aspect of art
  • good quality publication - although not all reproductions first rate however.....
  • ....this is NOT an expensive book (less than £10 from Amazon)
Think Again?
  • artists listed alphabetically rather than chronologically - latter might have been more helpful
  • limited coverage of the twentieth century - probably limited by the publishers budget for images for modern and contemprary artists
  • leans towards a European perspective of art (but does also include non Europeans eg Hopper, Hokusai and Hiroshige)
  • a few odd choices of artists I've never heard of with a limited claim to the top 100 / does not explain the reasons behind all the choices
Who should buy this?:
  • new students of art history
  • those wanting to learn more about leading artists across the ages
Who should not buy this?
  • of limited interest to those wanting specialised information about specific artists
  • unlikely to impress those who know quite a bit about art history
Author: Charlotte Gerlings
/ Publication Date:
  • UK - Arcturus Publishing (31 July 2009)  Originally published 2006.
  • USA - Published by Gramercy (February 7, 2006) Amazon link
Technical data: Paperback -  208 pages

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