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The history of Western European painting, explored through some of the world's most famous pictures. Each chapter of this book looks at an important aspect of the study of art, including the use of light, perspective, painting portraits, symbols in art, materials and techniques. The work of artists from Uccello to Picasso is presented chronologically within each chapter, giving a mini-history of European painting. Full page pictures and carefully chosen details are designed to inform young readers as well as to capture the eye and imagination. The National Gallery holds one of Britain's most well-known collections of European paintings. This book makes the collection accessible, not just to those who visit the gallery, but to all those who visit local galleries, study art at school or come across these famous paintings as posters or prints.
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Grade 5 Up. This excellent and well-rounded art-appreciation book delves into the world of painting using works from London's National Gallery that span 700 years. First, the author takes readers behind the scenes, focusing on how paintings are selected and hung as well as the detailed labor of restoration. The remaining chapters present major themes in the study of art including color, light, subject matter, and perspective. Excellent-quality reproductions supply marvelous examples and often include smaller close-up images to show detail. In addition to the reproductions, Voake's charming, decorative illustrations, inspired by the paintings themselves, decorate the margins and enhance an already magnificent book. Tips for closer observation highlight details and pose questions. In the chapter on color, Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne is pictured with a chart of how colored pigments such as lead-tin yellow, crimson lake, and ultra-marine are made. For the discussion on perspective, Hobbema's The Avenue at Middelharnis provides a perfect illustration. How and why an artist is able to achieve such an effect is clearly explained by paintings marked with straight lines showing points of perspective. Rembrandt's Belshazzar's Feast is a dramatic example of the use of light. Photos of a child taken with two different lighting sources further illustrates the point. Readers will come away from this title wanting to hurry to the nearest museum or gallery to practice their new viewing prowess.?Helen Rosenberg, St. Scholastica High School, Chicago, IL
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Art history for the populace is back in vogue; to that end, Richardson explores painted treasures from the National Gallery in London, covering both aesthetic considerations and technical ones, e.g., readers learn not only about perspective and Impressionism, but how paint is mixed and canvases are stretched. She is at her best when divulging little hints that allow readers to comprehend how an artist's style and technique influence the view they see, e.g., Hendrick Avercamp, who could neither speak nor hear, used pinks and browns to create warmth in a winter skating scene that is not a real view, but one he pieced together from drawings. Voake's illustrations are informative and amusing; the full-color reproductions are generally good, with the exception of highlighted areas meant to focus on painting details. Many of these are so small that that readers will only be able to focus on the frustration of not being able to see them more clearly. (Nonfiction. 8+) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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