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The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in…
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The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to…

by Carol Strickland

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I have perused this book often over the years. It is a simple history of art that shows the progression of art from primitive to sophisticated discussing the varied forms that have taken place in painting, architecture and sculpture. There are 5 main sections that cover lengthy periods of time: prehistoric through medieval, renaissance and baroque, the nineteenth century's birth of isms (impressionism, cubism, etc...), 20th century and contemporary art. The subsections consist of 2-4 pages describing each new movement in art along with the artists who practiced them and charts on the distinctive characteristics of each movement. In addition, there are plenty of photographs and charts on how to tell particular artists apart.

The introduction may have been the most important section for me. It shows you how to look at a painting, discussing the importance of color, composition, mood and lighting. I found this helpful when visiting my local art museum. I have photocopied the introduction and taken it with me to the museum as an aid in understanding the paintings within. There is no way I would have learned what little I know about art from any other art history book. The other books I have seen are written for students with highly technical written information. As such, I highly recommend The Annotated Mona Lisa to every layperson. ( )
  Violette62 | Apr 11, 2010 |
My first art history book. ( )
  catnw15 | Aug 23, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0836280059, Paperback)

A layman's guide to art history free from bogged down, convoluted theories provides the reader with a basic working knowledge of art and its influence on society, from ancient times to today. Simultaneous.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents the history of art from prehistoric times to the present day, describes major artists and movements, and details the influence of art on society through the ages.

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