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The National Gallery Complete Illustrated Catalogue

Baker, Christopher and Henry, Tom

ISBN 10: 1857090500 / ISBN 13: 9781857090505
Published by National Gallery Publications, Great Britain, 1995
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Yes Books (portland, ME, U.S.A.)

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A clean, unmarked copy in very good condition. The dust jacket has a mylar cover. Bookseller Inventory # 005433

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The National Gallery Complete Illustrated ...

Publisher: National Gallery Publications, Great Britain

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

From Booklist:

London's National Gallery, one of the world's greatest museums, is also one of the smallest, with about 2,000 paintings, virtually all of which are on display. Its focus is on European painting from the end of the thirteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. This catalog and associated CD-ROM display and provide information on each work; the catalog is arranged alphabetically by artist. In the print version works are shown three to a page, usually 2 by 2 1/2 inches in size and all but 300 in color. Complete data are provided--attribution, date, dimensions, support (e.g., wood, canvas), medium, inscriptions, and provenance. A 50-to 200-word note describes the history and subject matter of each work, and bibliographic references are appended. A brief biography (about 50 words) for each artist is located near the first work shown. The front matter includes an explanation of the organization of the data with a sample entry, a detailed history of the National Gallery, and a glossary. A bibliography at the end of the volume provides full information on the sources referred to in the entries. A comprehensive analytical index completes the volume.

The companion CD-ROM is both Macintosh and Windows compatible; a mouse is needed to navigate the easy-to-use system. The CD-ROM is for single users only; the publisher has no immediate plans for a network version. The initial screen after the title offers two choices: reading ("Director's Introduction," "A Short History of the Gallery" ) or starting right in searching by clicking on a letter of the alphabet. This produces a list of artists whose surnames begin with that letter. After scrolling through the list and selecting a name, the biography of the artist appears along with thumbnail illustrations of each of his works in the collection. Clicking on any small image produces a larger image and a sidebar of choices. "Text" provides the full descriptive entry from the catalog. "Show Detail" allows one to enlarge for closer study any section of the painting. "Whole Image" permits enlarging up to a screen size of 20 by 20 inches. "Bibliography" provides complete citations to references on the painting. "Related Index Terms" allows one to search by prominent features of the subject matter of the painting (horses, Battle of Waterloo, putti); literary sources for subjects (Old Testament: Genesis; Aesop: fables); media and supports (other than oil and canvas); and places of origin and date ranges of the paintings. Selecting any index term provides a listing of the paintings in the collection that share this feature, on which the user can click. In addition, the text can be searched separately using the word-search facility. The controls on the bottom of the screen facilitate searching. "Options" (Windows only) provides a pop-up memo for printing and copying. Unfortunately, the software provides for copying text but not illustrations. Any user needing help can return to the contents page and click on "About This Catalogue." One of the choices here is a clearly written tutorial. One can also access the glossary and an explanation of copyright issues, attribution, indexing, etc.

A different approach to this collection designed to appeal to the home market can be found on Microsoft Art Gallery , a multimedia CD-ROM that provides four guided tours of the gallery with audio. Most artists' names are pronounced, and animations are used to explain concepts.

Both students and the general reader who wants to know more about European painting will appreciate the National Gallery's catalog and CD-ROM. The high-resolution illustrations positively glow when viewed on the monitor. The powerful indexing capability of the computer has tremendous potential for student use; the "Related Index Terms" and the word-search facility allows the user to explore an idea or a specific topic in a way that is much more difficult with printed sources. Finding references to specific paintings can be difficult and time-consuming; the one to a dozen mostly twentieth-century and relatively accessible sources listed for each work will be a boon. Another advantage is being able to access images of paintings that are seldom reproduced in books. Recommended for public and academic libraries.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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