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The Visual Arts: A History (5th Edition) 5th Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130957900
ISBN-10: 0130957909
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delight to read . . . that makes us all just that much more alive and alert" -- John Russell, New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Substantially enlarged and completely revised, this highly-regarded classic interpretive art survey covers the visual arts -- i.e., painting, sculpture, architecture, prints, photography, and mixed media -- world-wide -- from prehistory to 1990. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 5th edition (July 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130957909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130957900
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,064,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By L. Nguyen on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a marvelously wide-ranging foray into art as practiced from prehistoric to modern times. What sets it apart from other surveys is the care the authors have taken to place art and artists in their cultural, political, and religious context. (For instance, the economics and theology of medieval Christendom are discussed as a background that focuses more sharply the true significance and accomplishment of the Gothic cathedral.) The book also provides time charts for each chapter, and sidebars quoting primary sources and contemporary responses to art. Over 1,300 illustrations, maps, and diagrams are included. In elegant and readable prose, the authors explore the creation of art not only through time but also across continents. Art from the Americas, Africa, and the East (Near and Far) are discussed in addition to the more familiar Western European masterpieces. I consider The Visual Arts: A History to be a lucid, thorough, and wonderfully written account of the impulse toward and creation of art as it has developed throughout history and within different cultures.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy learning about the evolution of art through the ages, along with the cultural circumstances that inspired the artists, you will enjoy this book. It can be dry reading at times, but that is a minor fault of such a thorough work. I was disappointed that the authors showed their bias at the time of the writing, by focusing on artists who were supposedly the best of their times, while omitting many who are seen as inspirational....John Singer Sargent for example. But this is a small criticism and any work such as this has to have limits. Not a book to be interesting to all, but among art histories, this is one of the better.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone remotely interested in art & art history, this is the book to buy. This was the textbook for an art history course I took in college and since that course, I have been through the whole book twice now and referred back to it many more times. Wonderfully illustrated, cogently organized and extremely comprehensive in it's scope, this book is a tour de force in the history of the visual arts. The way in which the authors interweave and elaborate upon the social history of a particular political, religious, military, and/or economic clime's impact upon the art produced at that time is extremely valuable and effective. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in art history or even if you're looking for a great coffee table book to put out for discussion or for a guest's delectation. Five stars was an easy choice to make when rating his text!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who is on the fence as to which art history book to purchase, look no further, this one is the one! It is so wonderfully put together, easier to keep the many time periods in art history straight in your head. The photographs (and the photos of art chosen for the book) are beautiful and each piece has an outstanding description as well. This book is also well done in respect to art within the context of cultural history. I thank my professor immensely for having me use this book for Art History class...perfect!!
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