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History of Art for Young People (6th Edition) Hardcover – August 6, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The name Janson is synonymous with the introduction of college undergraduates to the canon of western art; this latest volume for the younger set recapitulates the Jansons' particular narrative of art history at a slightly more elementary level. With its brief histories and capsule essays written for an upper school audience by father and son (Anthony took over the History of Art projects after his father's death in 1982), and including nearly 600 illustrations of antique, Gothic and Renaissance masterpieces, this tome is an encyclopedic look at art from the 30,000 year-old cave paintings of Lascaux to fairly recent developments in performance art and photography. From Egypt to Greece to Rome to France, and eventually even to America, the story of art unfolds in an empirical succession of buddings, blossomings and decays, rarely digressing into non-European or particularly idiosyncratic works. While there are certain inconsistencies in pitch-the authors provide a definition for fable, but make the sophisticated observation that, in Borromini's 17th century Roman church, "it is the syntax, not the vocabulary, that is new and disquieting"-overall, this is a rich resource indeed. For the precocious youngster or the older art neophyte, this book offers a skeleton key to civilization's most beautiful visual accomplishments, and does not condescend while instructing.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Appearing fewer than five years after its previous edition, this is a parallel but simplified version of the elder Janson's benchmark college text, History of Art (LJ 5/15/70). The publisher intends this variant for high school students, as the title implies, as well as for general adult readers. Making comprehensible all the complexity of art history is a tall order, even when addressing the most learned adults; this version of Janson shows some of the difficulties of explaining art to a younger audience. Although chapters have been streamlined, the prose has not. It is marred by a needlessly sophisticated syntax that comes across as snooty and affected. With the arrival of inherently less understandable art forms in the 20th century, the challenge to maintain a tone of straightforward description becomes acute; only some of the time does this text meet that task. Readers able to keep up will appreciate the Jansons' adeptness at bringing to light the telling detail and making apt comparisons. But with more accessible surveys available like Marilyn Stokstad's recent Art History (LJ 4/15/96) and Laurie S. Adams's History of Western Art (LJ 9/15/93), this is recommended only for comprehensive collections.?Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Art; 6 edition (August 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810905116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810905115
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By L.S., on April 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As an art student in college, I slogged my way through several art history volumes, including Jansen's History of Art.Twenty years later, when attempting to revise an art enrichment program in my children's school, I was fortunate to come across Jansen's History of Art for Young People. Don't mistake the title as a reference to chronological age, but rather as aimed at anyone in an early (young) stage of fine art study. The book begins in prehistory and travels through to post-modernism, covering not only the art and artists, but the historical events that influenced the way the art developed. The text is very readable, with lots of key definitions, tables and line-illustrations right in the margins.There are four date based charts that organize the key achievements in Religion, Politics Science, Architecture and Art, emphasizing that art does not develop in a vacuum. Illustrations are well chosen with a fair number of color plates and sharp black and white pictures. Every page has some sort of visual aid, which makes it a pretty pleasant read for students. I highly recomend this book whether as a reference for learning about a particular artist or style, or as a foundation for designing an educational program. Jensen helps one turn the bits and pieces of art data that we all accumulate into a comprehensive sense of the breadth and influence of art in civilization. The depth of information is deep, but not so overwhelming as to drown the reader. If I were to make any criticism of this book, it would be only that it doesn't title itself as a history of WESTERN Art, which leaves an even larger portion of the world still unexplored.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I needed to find a few good sources for an art history report and was lucky enough to pluck this book off the shelf at my local library. I ended up finding most everything I needed just in this book and was amazed at the detailed coverage of the history of each induvidual peice. I loved it so much that I bought it for myself, and it has probably been the best purchase I've ever made. The writing is excellent, the coloured pictures make it easy to distinguish certain important aspects of the art, and the background history on the artists, the impact of music, philosophies, or simply the work makes it the best all-around book on art history (especially for students) that I've ever read. It helps the reader to understand how the other influences of trade, literature etc. helped form periods in art history so that they may have a better understanding of the work in general. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in an art history class or any fellow art lover, it's wonderful.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book and, in my humble opinion, a better book for most users than the big textbook edition "History of Art". The only complaint I have about this edition is its name; I feel it should be titled "History of Art: Concise Edition" as "History of Art for Young People" makes it sound too much like a children's book. While certainly suitable for an intelligent child, it is a superb art overview and reference for all people.
If you desire a general art reference you won't go wrong with this gem and you'll not find anything better. I have the 3rd edition also and it is excellent but this 6th one is greatly expanded (e.g., lots more photos and color) while retaining the user-friendly nature of the earlier editions. The text is clear and interesting, not written in the dry, boring style of a textbook. The printing and reproductions are top-quality. This art book is truly itself a masterpiece!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By N. Chan on April 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Oh my gosh! What a great read! very informative, and helped my greatly on my AP Art History exam. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kate, Lizzie, and Baby Belle's Mom on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The copy we received was a third edition, and it is very nice. Lots of information and nice photographs of the art. I have looked at the fifth edition in our local library, however, and I would say it is a great improvement. Some expanded sections, and more color photographs. All in all a great introduction to art history for kids or adults.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By about time on July 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Young People" should be interpreted as upper high school or college students. I had hoped it was written for a younger audience than that. I also would have appreciated more color plates. To me this book looks and reads just like my 30 year old college art history texts. This is probably my mistake, but I can't help being disappointed.
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