The World's Great Paintings

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9780831751555: The World's Great Paintings

184+ color photos. 10 1/2 x 14 3/8.

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From Library Journal:

Far from including the world's greatest paintings, this volume is limited to Western figurative painting from the 13th century to the present. Indeed, Gillou nowhere explains the definition of a "great" painting or why these particular paintings were chosen rather than others. Gillou, who argues that Western painting from Giotto to the present was figurative, seeks to address "the meaning of the use of the figurative"-certainly an infelicitous and unclear choice of words. He examines the figurative elements of paintings under chapter headings entitled "Mythologies," "The Creation of Man," (and, one would hope, woman), "The Chosen Race," (not "the chosen people"?), etc. Why these headings were chosen is also not explained. The discussion of each painting fails to illuminate the question the author sets out to answer. There is no unifying theme, and no evident audience for this book. The reproductions are interesting to view, which seems to be this volume's only saving grace.
Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, Ct.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jean-Francois Guillou
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