Greatest Works of Art of Western Civilization

Thomas Hoving

Published by Artisan, 1997
ISBN 10: 1885183534 / ISBN 13: 9781885183538
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Synopsis: One early morning of an exceptionally beautiful day I got the idea of retracing every step of my life as an art expert--from 1951--and writing down the works of art that had bowled me over visually and emotionally. The ones that after years I could describe down to the tiniest details, as if standing in front of them. These are the ones that changed my lifeÓ So begins Thomas Hoving--the man who revolutionized the Metropolitan Museum of Art and with it the museums of the world--in this sumptuous book that contains his passionate, opinionated, and sometimes controversial selection of the 111 masterpieces of Western art. Encompassing classical Greek statuary, paintings by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Renoir, Munch, and Pollack, frescoes by Piero Della Francesca, mosaics, altarpieces, tapestries, even Benvenuto Cellini's Great Salt Cellar, this book takes a fresh, engaging look at Western man's artistic accomplishments. Interpreted with wit, zeal, and passion, The Greatest Works of Art includes treasures from the Museum of Modern Art, the Phillips Collection, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, and of course the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Review: Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has selected the 111 greatest works of Western art. These are the pieces he deems "the pinnacles of quality, elegance, and artistic strength, the best mankind has created, the hallmarks of unalloyed genius," and it's really a terrific selection. Spanning the globe and the centuries, Hoving playfully mixes old standbys such as the Venus of Willendorf and Picasso's Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon with lesser-known works--The Street by Balthus and Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, for example. Accompanying each of the illustrations is a friendly, informative essay describing both the work and the artist, placing both in historical context. The works are presented in no particular order, but this randomness allows readers to view each piece on its own--out of context, with a kind of freshness. While some may be turned off by the book's occasionally self-absorbed tone, Hoving offers a highly educational, thoughtful survey, and his knowledge and discernment are undeniable.

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Title: Greatest Works of Art of Western ...
Publisher: Artisan
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Artisan, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. A former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York chooses the 111 works of art--culled from the entire history of Western civilization--that have influenced him most, reproduced in full-color and complemented by his interpretations. Tour. Solid binding. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 123505126

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