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The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Annotated Series) Paperback – October 2, 2007
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From the Back Cover
It's a paradox of American culture. Throughout the country, in every major city, art museums stand as our proudest, most venerated public institutions - the world's great art, there for all to see. Yet for many Americans, the world of "Art" remains inaccessible, lost in a fog of jargon and theories that can make the artwork itself seem hopelessly remote. The Annotated Mona Lisa demystifies art history. It's a brisk, clearly stated survey, from cave painting to conceptual art, that doesn't talk down to its reader and doesn't assume a prior art education. And, most important, it never bores. Dynamic design, with succinct, page-length essays, frequent sidebars, and abundant color illustrations incorporated into the text, make The Annotated Mona Lisa a browser's delight, as well as an authoritative reference that can be read from cover to cover. Sections on ancient and medieval art emphasize context and historical relevance: What kind of people did it take to build the Egyptian pyramids? How has their work influenced the architecture of today? Sections on Renaissance and Baroque art, the nineteenth century, and the modern era touch on all the major figures of the times, while continuing to explain the cultural context out of which the art evolved. A time line at the beginning of each section ties it all together, noting the significant historical events that shaped the art world and the world at large.
About the Author
Carol Strickland has a doctorate in American culture from the University of Michigan. She is theChristian Science Monitor's art critic and contributes feature stories on the arts to theNew York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Art and Antiques. She is the author ofThe 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.
Top customer reviews
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I only had about a week and a half to study because I was taking test in between semesters. I used this book and an art history video on YouTube to prepare. After I had studied, I used the ExamEdge website to take some practice Praxis tests. Anything that I was unsure about during the practice tests, I went back to this book and studied up on it. There were literally questions on the Praxis test that looked to be pulled directly from this book, word for word.
While I bought this book to help me study for an exam, I am still keeping it. I believe that it will be a great resource in my future art classroom. It is also great to use to remind yourself about facts, art movements, etc that you may be a bit fuzzy on. It starts with prehistoric art and moves through Greek/Roman art, the Italian Renaissance and goes all the way through to modern art. It is written simply and doesn't have a lot of high-dollar words that a lot of art critics write with. While complex art language is great to hardcore art lovers, it is sometimes off-putting to your average person. This book is not like that....it is a very easy read. You will not become bored with tons of jargon. All of the important art vocabulary is there, but it is done without being boring or condescending.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would buy it again.
BUY this book...for yourself, your children, your spouse, your mother, your students and your art loving friends.
They will thank you!
My only complaint is that not all of the artwork discussed is actually pictured. A quick Google search will find the images, but still annoying. Likewise, not all pictures are in color, particularly shocking when the text specifically discusses the colors of the painting.