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The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern Paperback – June 1, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (June 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836280059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836280050
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,246 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

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
In such a short book, compared to other Art History books such as Gardner's Art History, etc., one may begin to wonder what this book has omitted. The answer is basically NOTHING. The difference between Gardner's and this book is that this book is a wonderful introduction to anybody appreciative of art but lacks the basic skills at analyzing and appreciating art to the fullest. 1500pg Art History books serve as a wonderful reference but as a poor introduction. Enter "Annotated Mona Lisa" , giving readers an introduction to art combined with attention-grabbing description and prose with the history and background of several thousands of years of art from pre-historic to modern. This book can serve as a study guide to much larger books, especially for those who take college art history classes or the AP Art History class in High School. This is a genuine MUST HAVE for anyone vaguely familiar with the term "art."
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Diana on December 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
It does indeed require a crash course to recount 25,000 years of art history in just under 200 pages. The Annotated Mona Lisa does it well with a few exceptions. Beginning with the title itself, it should be noted that this book details the history of "Western" art only, a distinction that is vital for a holistic understanding of art. Another exception is an occasional departure in chronological order. For example, the inclusion of Art Nouveau architecture in the section on Rococo Art (which is twenty-five pages before Art Nouveau is discussed) disrupts the chronological flow. There are also occasional poor choices of representative artwork. For example, I would not consider City Night to be representative of Georgia O'Keeffe's work. I noticed as well that certain well-known terms that describe art styles or techniques are omitted; an example is "Frontalism" in Egyptian art. Some art movements that I would consider to be significant are also omitted, such as the Pre-Raphaelites. And I must admit I was disheartened to see an outright inaccuracy when the book stated that artist Artemisia Gentileschi accused a fellow pupil of raping her when it is known to have been her teacher she accused.

What the The Annotated Mona Lisa excels at is providing the reader with numerous charts that compare styles that are often confused such as Gothic and Romanesque architecture or Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance art. There are also charts that distinguish between artists such as the one that differentiates the style characteristics of several Post-Impressionist artists. The upbeat writing and interesting facts about artists and their work really help to keep the reader engaged as do interesting page designs and more than 300 illustrations, many of them in color.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know much about art, and I wanted to learn a little bit more. That is the reason why I bought this book. Truth to be told, I was pleasantly surprised when I read it: it teachs you a lot, but it's also entertaining and... FUN TO READ. You end up wanting to read more about art, and from my point of view that's what makes a book successful, disregarding the subject matter.
"The annotated Mona Lisa" allows you to appreciate paintings you have already seen in a new way (you must try to pay attention not only to de color and composition but also to the historical circumstances in which it was painted, and to the meaning hidden in the painting) and introduces you to new ones.
Carol Strickland, in the introduction to this book, tells us that "There is a world of difference between viewing a work of art and really seeing it - the difference between sight and insight". In "The annotated Mona Lisa" she tries to give us an insight into what art is really about, and in my opinion, she has a good deal of success.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lover of Mysteries on January 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
It has been years since I got my degree in Art History. I found this book to be a great refresher. I wish I had this book when I was in college. This book has been well thought out and well designed and illustrated.
I'm looking forward to reading the author's subsequent book "The Annotated Arch: A Crash Course in the History of Architecture."
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By kbv on January 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was KEY in helping me study for the art: content knowledge praxis exam. Much less time consuming then "Gardner's art through the ages", this book is broken down - not dumbed down. the facts are accurate and more than half of what i read was on the test. this book paired with "the art teacher's book of list" are perfect study aids for this exam.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have to anyone studying history of art of the western world. Very useful for student of Advanced Placement History of Art. She (C. Strickland) explains the information in a way useful to study and remember. The text includes color images, tables, among other useful learning methods. I used this book to study for my AP Art History exam in May 98 and it was very useful. It is a great coffee table book too!! I highly recommend it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Polland on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I use this book for a survey course for undergraduate and graduate students who are non-art majors. It is far more accessible than most texts of that type, and far less detailed and costly as well. A perfect start for someone trying to grasp the basic concepts involved. I recommend it highly for that purpose.
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