National Gallery Complete Illustrated Catalogue

National Gallery Complete Illustrated Catalogue

by Christopher Baker
     
 

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The National Gallery, London, holds one of the world's richest and most comprehensive collections of European paintings from the thirteenth century to 1900. The Complete Illustrated Catalogue, first published in 1995, provides concise, systematic, and up-to-date information on every work owned by the National Gallery and on permanent or long-term loan, and is an

Overview

The National Gallery, London, holds one of the world's richest and most comprehensive collections of European paintings from the thirteenth century to 1900. The Complete Illustrated Catalogue, first published in 1995, provides concise, systematic, and up-to-date information on every work owned by the National Gallery and on permanent or long-term loan, and is an essential work of reference for scholars in art history, students, teachers, picture researchers, and anyone professionally concerned with the art world.

This expanded edition of the catalogue includes an appendix of over 100 paintings acquired by the National Gallery since the book was last printed in 1996. It contains more than 2,300 entries, organized alphabetically by artist and giving title, date, attribution, inventory number, support, medium, and dimensions for every work, and concise, authoritative text on the subject matter, origins, function, and provenance, with bibliographical references. There is a brief biography for each artist; a bibliography of major studies of the collections; and a detailed subject index.

Editorial Reviews

Zom Zoms
London's National Gallery, one of the world's greatest museums, is also one of the smallest, with about 2,000 paintings, virtually all of which are on display. Its focus is on European painting from the end of the thirteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. This catalog and associated CD-ROM display and provide information on each work; the catalog is arranged alphabetically by artist. In the print version works are shown three to a page, usually 2 by 2 1/2 inches in size and all but 300 in color. Complete data are provided--attribution, date, dimensions, support (e.g., wood, canvas), medium, inscriptions, and provenance. A 50-to 200-word note describes the history and subject matter of each work, and bibliographic references are appended. A brief biography (about 50 words) for each artist is located near the first work shown. The front matter includes an explanation of the organization of the data with a sample entry, a detailed history of the National Gallery, and a glossary. A bibliography at the end of the volume provides full information on the sources referred to in the entries. A comprehensive analytical index completes the volume The companion CD-ROM is both Macintosh and Windows compatible; a mouse is needed to navigate the easy-to-use system. The CD-ROM is for single users only; the publisher has no immediate plans for a network version. The initial screen after the title offers two choices: reading ("Director's Introduction," "A Short History of the Gallery" ) or starting right in searching by clicking on a letter of the alphabet. This produces a list of artists whose surnames begin with that letter. After scrolling through the list and selecting a name, the biography of the artist appears along with thumbnail illustrations of each of his works in the collection. Clicking on any small image produces a larger image and a sidebar of choices. "Text" provides the full descriptive entry from the catalog. "Show Detail" allows one to enlarge for closer study any section of the painting. "Whole Image" permits enlarging up to a screen size of 20 by 20 inches. "Bibliography" provides complete citations to references on the painting. "Related Index Terms" allows one to search by prominent features of the subject matter of the painting (horses, Battle of Waterloo, putti); literary sources for subjects (Old Testament: Genesis; Aesop: fables); media and supports (other than oil and canvas); and places of origin and date ranges of the paintings. Selecting any index term provides a listing of the paintings in the collection that share this feature, on which the user can click. In addition, the text can be searched separately using the word-search facility. The controls on the bottom of the screen facilitate searching. "Options" (Windows only) provides a pop-up memo for printing and copying. Unfortunately, the software provides for copying text but not illustrations. Any user needing help can return to the contents page and click on "About This Catalogue." One of the choices here is a clearly written tutorial. One can also access the glossary and an explanation of copyright issues, attribution, indexing, etc A different approach to this collection designed to appeal to the home market can be found on "Microsoft Art Gallery" , a multimedia CD-ROM that provides four guided tours of the gallery with audio. Most artists' names are pronounced, and animations are used to explain concepts Both students and the general reader who wants to know more about European painting will appreciate the National Gallery's catalog and CD-ROM. The high-resolution illustrations positively glow when viewed on the monitor. The powerful indexing capability of the computer has tremendous potential for student use; the "Related Index Terms" and the word-search facility allows the user to explore an idea or a specific topic in a way that is much more difficult with printed sources. Finding references to specific paintings can be difficult and time-consuming; the one to a dozen mostly twentieth-century and relatively accessible sources listed for each work will be a boon. Another advantage is being able to access images of paintings that are seldom reproduced in books. Recommended for public and academic libraries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781857099751
Publisher:
National Gallery Publications, Limited
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Pages:
864
Product dimensions:
9.84(w) x 11.42(h) x (d)

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