Top positive review
7 of 9 people found this helpful
Most of the reviews are for a different edition
on January 2, 2012
You will notice that some reviews are really comments about the re-seller's book condition and a lot are repeats from the 2 volume set which has 1240 pages while this volume only has 605.
This volume covers from pre-historic discoveries to the early 1300s. I noticed a review referred to lots of female artists-that is missing in this volume. Others referred to periods after 1350 which are not in this volume either. I liked the good photography, diagrams of architectural styles and their components, and the photographs of models (such as Rome in 324 CE).
The book covers a nice cross section of art from different continents and it provides a good overall summary of art and architecture. What it does not do is explain the reasons for changes in art subjects or architecture. So the reader does not end up with either an in depth understanding of the flow of innovation nor the details of why items ended up looking the way they do. For instance, the madrases and tombs of Samarkand and vicinity have deep blue and turquoise ceramic tiles. For what reason? During this time period in Europe, these colors were more precious than gold.
The book provides a means to determine where your interests are so that you can pursue subjects/books that have a more in depth coverage. Some reviewers have mistakenly assumed that the book is the definitive encyclopedia when there is much more to learn about, such as jewelry, ceramics, glass, and tapestry.