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The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern Paperback – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Strickland has a doctorate in American culture from the University of Michigan. She is the Christian Science Monitor's art critic and contributes feature stories on the arts to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Art and Antiques. She is the author of The Annotated Arch: A Crash Course in the History of Architecture, The Illustrated Timeline of Art History, and numerous artists' monographs. Carol lives in New York City and Long Island.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2 edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740768727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740768729
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Strickland's latest book on art history is Impressionism: A Legacy of Light," the first in a series called Masterpieces of Art, released as an enhanced eBook from Erudition Digital. (See website- http://www.eruditions.co.uk/publications/masterpieces-of-art.html)
She has a doctorate from the University of Michigan and contributes feature stories on visual art to Art in America magazine. Her stories on culture have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Art and Antiques, and Private Journey magazine. She is the author of the best-selling "The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern," "The Annotated Arch: A Crash Course in the History of Architecture," "The Illustrated Timeline of Art History," "The Illustrated Timeline of Western Literature," and monographs on the artists Paul Waldman and Aris Kalaizis. Her screenplays for feature films have won prizes in prestigious script competitions.
Her historical novel (an enhanced eBook) set in 6th-century Constantinople called "The Eagle and the Swan" is available for kindle and iPad. For more information, see the book website http://www.theeagleandtheswan.com. The book has a facebook page and a twitter account (@eagleandtheswan). Carol has a home in Long Island, New York. Her website is http://www.carolcstrickland.com and twitter account @carolartbeat.
Her motive for writing the novel was to give a voice to the most maligned--and arguably the most significant--figure in the history of the late Roman Empire, Empress Theodora. As steamy as it is true and richly imagined, the novel has been described as "Sex and the City meets I, Claudius.
To hear an audio interview about the eBook, go to http://blog.cplesley.com/2013/11/the-real-panem.html

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern" is more than a crash course, a term used for its catchiness. Actually, the book is a synopsis of art history and provides the lay person concise and brief explanations of history, movements, schools, and individual artists and artwork.

I taught art history for several years at the high school level and relied on Janson's History of Art 7th Ed. and Wood's Art of the Western World: From Ancient Greece to Post-Modernism as my personal instructors. Every night I had to slog through pages of information when all I wanted was something concise and to the point. "The Annotated Mona Lisa" would have served me well.

I found this the other day and popped my forehead (as in V-8 commercials) and asked aloud: Why didn't I use this book for my background? Apparently, I bought it then promptly forgot/misplaced/had little time to use it.

Here's why this book will be a companion for anyone interested in teaching him/herself about art history:

1. Five time categories (ex. Prehistoric through Medieval) with very clear subtitles (ex. Mesopotamia: the Architects)

2. Short explanations per topic.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Olivia James on April 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carol Strickland has written one of the most entertaining, comprehensive, and comprehensible books on art history currently on the market. Not only does she provide soundbites on the meaning, style, and creation of selected works (which are produced in beautiful, truthful images) she gives information about the lives of the artists. This book is probably one of the most inclusive and up-to-date works on this subject you will find. I have found it extraordinarily helpful in studying for the AP Art History exam and for the class in art history I am taking. (Recommended: reading the book's summary and volunteering your information from it in class.) If you are looking for a book to help you in that test, look no further. Even for those reading the subject merely for fun, Strickland's writing style is easy and fun to read, and bridges the often yawning gap between the art world and the real world. She shows a true gift for taking an overwhelming, sprawling subject and making ordered, objective sense of it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Ward on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I go to an art college and I'm majoring in art education. I bought this book in order to study for the art history section of my state's standardized test for educators license and it's proved invaluable. I've taken quite a few actual art history classes (mostly surveys of Western Art History) and this book does focuses almost exclusively on Western AH - so if you need information on African Art, Eastern, Pacific Islands, etc....you'll need another book. But this is a great review book that's easy to read (I read 10 pages a day for 20 days to study for the test and it was very very easy) -- especially if you've taken AH courses and just need a refresher.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mona on December 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because it was recommended by several users as a good overview to aid in my studying for the state board teaching exams. Having already completed my degree in 1998 I thought, not only, would it be a good studying tool without having to do any heavy reading but also a good resource in the classroom. The book was well sectioned, highlit many of the major movements as well as artists and had a large, readable print that was easy to follow without feeling like a textbook. It did not, however, entirely serve my purpose for one of the TExES teaching competencies for art was a knowledge in Asian and Middle Eastern arts. It was also missing a section in Oceania. As the title implies the book covers, predominantly, European styles with a sprinkling of Pre-Columbian, African and North American influences. Those taking the TExES (or any other Art/Fine Arts/Arts History students) should know that this is, indeed, a very good book for your classroom and personal library but should not be used a sole source for a complete art history overview.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By laura d on January 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an AP art history teacher and I use this book as a supplement to the 1,150 page Gardner's Art Through the Ages book that is our primary text in class. The Annotated Mona Lisa is a way to simplify and summarize what is discussed in the Gardner's book, and works as a good way to review before the AP exam.
My students were VERY excited when they received these books, and were reading ahead for FUN (if you can believe it!)!
Great images, charts, comparisons and breakdown of movements in an easy to read (and sometimes humorous) format.
I am a big fan!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Malmo on January 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is complete, yet succinct;a rare combination in one text. It is the most complete, cost-effective Art History book available. I highly recommend it for an entry level survey course.
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