Facts on File Encyclopedia of Art

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Overview

First published by Encyclopedia Britannica in 1983 as The Encyclopedia of visual art, and somewhat revised for this edition (the revisions are added onto the end of the original entries), this reference provides a solid introduction to the art history of the world from the earliest cave paintings to works of contemporary art. Each era's art and architecture is described thoroughly in the text, with a focus on the stylistic phases of each era and national style, references in some cases to scholarly discussion and controversy, and frequent formal discussion of the individual works of art depicted in the color plates. Extensive bibliographies accompany each section. The text was written mainly by British art historians, many of them well known in their fields. This is a useful and reliable resource which will be beneficial to high school and undergraduate students as well as the interested reader. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Heavily based on the 1983 two-volume reference work by Prentice-Hall, Encyclopedia of Visual Art, also edited by the late painter and art historian Gowing, Facts On File Encyclopedia of Art adds minor updates to the original, mostly found in the chapters on contemporary art. The additional text is usually tacked on to the end of the original article and ranges in length from two paragraphs to several pages. Divided into five volumes-starting with the volume on Paleolithic and Etruscan art and ending with the volume on Realism and South African art-the set features 54 chapters altogether, organized by era and geographic region and written by art historians, curators, and archivists. Ranging in length from five pages ("International Style") to 35 pages ("Gothic Art"), the chapters cover not only aesthetics but social and cultural context as well and not only Western arts (which do seem to dominate) but arts from other parts of the world. The most striking feature is the vivid, full-color photography on nearly every page, with three-dimensional objects ranging from Aegean armor to a Japanese Zen temple particularly well treated. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists is similarly a minor revision and update of the Encyclopedia of Visual Art, although the lack of an introduction makes it difficult to spot what has been changed. The unsigned entries range from a paragraph to three pages in length and are complemented by many color photos. The artists covered include Laurie Anderson, Frank Gehry, Anselm Kiefer, Jan Vermeer, and Andy Warhol, to name just a few. A visual chronology of artists by country and era functions as an index to artists, and an alphabetical artist/subject index concludes the work. Bottom Line If your library owns the Encyclopedia of Visual Art, you may want to pass over the new version. If not, this Facts On File work is an important addition to any high school, academic, or public library. Even libraries that own the monumental Grove's Dictionary of Art or classic world art surveys such as Gardner's Art Through the Ages will find that this work complements their collection. The Biographical Encyclopedia is mostly recommended for libraries that don't have a comprehensive collection of art biographies.-Nadine Cohen, Athens, GA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816057979
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 1040
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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