Mirror of the World: A New History of Art by Julian Bell, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Mirror of the World: A New History of Art

Mirror of the World: A New History of Art

by Julian Bell
     
 

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A vivid and compelling history of human artistic achievements, from the first stone fashioned into a figure by a hunter-gatherer to the latest new media and installation work.

Overview

A vivid and compelling history of human artistic achievements, from the first stone fashioned into a figure by a hunter-gatherer to the latest new media and installation work.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
“An extraordinary book for any reader.”
Publishers Weekly

Bell's guidelines in writing this exuberant, astute and splendidly illustrated history of world art-spanning the cave paintings of Lascaux through contemporary artists such as Julie Mehretu-are threefold: every work is complemented by a reproduction, the narrative is chronological, and art is viewed as "a frame within which world history, in all its breadth, is continually reflected back at us." Bell (500 Self-Portraits; What Is Painting? Representation and Modern Art) is a renowned critic, artist, and professor of art history, and son of artist and critic Quentin Bell; he writes of his personal "pleasure" in creating and studying art. Bell draws fascinating parallels between artistic developments in Western and non-Western art: a discussion of Brancusi highlights the influence of West African carving on his work; one of Borromini's domes is juxtaposed with its near contemporary in the Masjid-e-Shah mosque in Isfahan. The survey is selective, presenting some typically overlooked works, but Bell trains his probing perspective on each. His conclusion is unpretentious: he advises readers to supplement his study with "finer-grained art histories" and to "get close to the work itself." Best, he says, is to make things oneself: "What happens in art is up to you." This unique study will appeal to anyone-from the generalist to the scholar-interested in a discriminating and perceptive history of world art. Illus. (Oct.)

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Art & Auction
“A wonderful guide. Bell has a passion for art, a good eye, and a writing style full of grace and energy. . . . A great leap beyond the conventional survey.”
Bloomsbury Review
“A valuable and entertaining adventure in art history.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Bell applies his painter’s eye and sensibility to unusual juxtapositions of world cultures.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500238370
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
09/24/2007
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

Julian Bell has taught art history for many years and is also a practicing painter. He writes widely on art for magazines, including The New York Review of Books.

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