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Art That Changed the World Hardcover – August 19, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Aside from being an art lover's muse, Art That Changed the World is a perfect coffee table solution for any home in need of conversation or enlightenment" – The Art Mag

"Informative new book on history of art movements makes a loaded subject an easy and enjoyable read." – Utne Reader

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: DK (August 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1465414355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1465414359
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.2 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Wignall VINE VOICE on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know I'll sound a bit like Will Rogers saying it, but I have never met a DK book that I didn't like. Check that: I've rarely met a DK book that I didn't absolutely love--and this book is no exception. In fact, this is one of the books that has made me such a huge fan of DK. While they do cut some informational corners on some books (I recently reviewed their book "The Animal Book" and was disappointed they didn't include any Latin names, for example), overall their comprehensive nature and excellent design and presentation are stellar--and again, this book is no exception.

The 400-page book takes you through an enormous range of art history, from 30,000BCE cave art (including a good description of the opening to the public of the cave art at Lascaux, in Montignac, France in 1948) to the Pop Art movement. Strangely the book ends in 1995 and doesn't continue into the 21st century and maybe there is an explanation for that in the book but I haven't found it yet. Along the way the book covers (more extensively than you might imagine for a 400-page book--which is part of DK's genius) virtually every major art movement. I just finished writing a book on color for a British publisher and spent a considerable time piecing together a timeline of some early concepts of color from cave drawings to ancient Eygpt--and I wish I'd had this book! It has a timeline already done and it's exactly what I needed.

Each chapter in this book covers a major art movement or period in history that include: Ancient and Medieval art, Renaissance and Mannerism, Barogue to Neoclassicism, the 19th Century and the Modern Age. Within each of these periods is a breakdown that made up the major movements.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Walker on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is an attempt by DK to cover the world's art. While it can't do it all, for the most part it succeeds, and this is a nice book. It's a 10x12" hardback, and almost 400 pages, all in full color with plenty of great selections of art from around the world, so there's plenty here to enjoy. The book is broken up into sections by particular artistic styles and periods, starting with cave art and progressing all the way to present-day realism, with plenty in between. There are plenty of little "asides" throughout the book, like short biographies of key artists, which was nice.

The book focuses primarily on paintings, with much less emphasis on sculpture and pretty much none on photography (as a professional photographer, I was a little disappointed). Each section is broken down in a repeated predictable format: context (historical background), beginnings (early works from the period), turning point (never quite figured out what this was), timeline (showing historical and artistic developments of the period), and masterwork (an in-depth look at a particularly well-known example exemplifying the style). In all, that made up about ten pages for each period, which for some periods felt like too little coverage (I found myself wanting to know more about Pictish stonework, which received all of two sentences and a thumbnail-sized image, for example), but the book obviously couldn't do it all in great depth.

I found the title a bit perplexing, as there's little commentary on how any of the art in the book "changed the world".

Anyway, if you want a nicely produced book of art from around the world throughout time, this ain't bad, but plenty of other great choices are available.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Severian TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the typical DK format: 400 pages, slickly glossy, superficial depth as far as analysis and formal history, but plenty of nice pictures. For some topics (science, the Civil War) this format does not work well, but for art, things generally click.

The nicest points about this book:

1) most pictures are large, very few postal stamp sized illustrations (like those that marred the DK "Battle" book...) Details of the selected works are clearly visible and the color duplication is accurate as far as I can tell.

2) DK finally has gotten the binding down - the book has not already begun to fall apart after being read, a problem with prior DK products in the past.

3) Surprising insight in the text, and no major bloopers spotted. I am moderately familiar with art history but learned a few things here, and saw nothing really dreadful in terms of mistakes. An MFA might learn less and spot some more mistakes, but most novice and intermediate art fans will enjoy and learn.

4) The timelines help to document what else was going on in the world when the various works were composed.

5) The selected masterpieces almost all include artist bios as well, on the same pages.

6) The editors show generally good taste and perceptivity in their selections.

What's Not To Like?

1) The Table of Contents lacks the level of detail of some other DK titles. The selected masterpieces for instance are not individually listed in the Table. If you want to find out what the selected Dark Ages masterpiece is, you'll have to page to the end of the section.

2) The focus of the book seems to be on how the world influenced art rather than the other way around.
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