Not being able to travel the world on a librarian s salary, this was a pretty good chance to see paintings on a Very Small Scale that I would love to see in person. When I go to an art museum I generally only look at the contemporary late 20th century stuff and I first picked up this book to look at the same thing But I started glancing through the older paintings and realized how amazing some of them really were I thought, if some of these paintings were just being made today they would still shake up the art world I became curious about the lives and stories behind these older paintings that I didn t know much about The book has your Leonardos and Mona Lisa s and the like but there are also lots of amazing paintings and painters that I have never seen or heard of The paintings are predominately by Western European American males but there are also many paintings from other parts of the world and paintings by women dating back to before you would have thought and they don t come across like tokens Some of the modern contemporary choices seem a bit questionable to me though Not necessarily the choice of artists though there are some gaps but the choice of the particular painting to represent that artist sometimes seems a bit off Great democratic layout and very well researched. From Ancient Egyptian Frescoes To The Renaissance Masters, From French Impressionists To American Abstract Expressionists, This Highly Browsable Guide Embraces All Cultures And Every Style Of Painting From , BC To The Present A Visually Arresting Reference For Art Lovers And Students, It Provides A Truly Comprehensive Worldwide Gazeteer Of Paintings Organized Chronologically By Date Of Completion Each Entry Includes The History Of The Painting, Information About The Artist Or Artistic Movement, The Current Location Of The Painting All Are On View To The Public , As Well As Other Details The Works Are Also Indexed By Artist And By Title, Making For Easy Cross Referencing Included Are Popular Paintings, Key Works That Are The Most Breathtaking For Their Extraordinary Power And Beauty, Paintings That Were Turning Points In The History Of Art, And Rediscovered Masterpieces, Making Paintings You Must See Before You Die An Art Museum In Its Own Right From a series inspired, no doubt, by Patricia Schultz s ever so popular travel tome, 1000 Places To See Before You Die one of our 2003 favorites , artist and UK art professor Stephen Farthing has assembled a magnificant collection of paintings spanning from 1420 BC to 2006 AD While one may pick up this 960 page tableweight some are two to a page looking for their favorite painters or paintings, you actually come away from it with an expanded curiosity for that which you don t know than that which you do While purusing the work of art icons like Titian, Rubens, Goya, daVinci, Picasso, Wyeth, Johns, et al, one is also struck by the stories behind the paintings as well as their historical relationships to each other and the times from which they came For example, the first quarter of the book is dominated by religious iconography from Italy yet the book ends quite up to date with famed street artist Banksy and Chinese modernist Zhao Bo Did you know that though painted in 1503, the title Mona Lisa was not officially used until the 19th Century when the identity of the subject, Lisa Gherardini, was revealed by Vasari Farthing and his eighty four contributors have created a stunning overview, though even with it s 1001 entries, still leaves out many of the world s most famous works in the name of expanding the historical purvue While the task of actually seeing than a fraction of this work some still reside in private collections though most are within museum reach seems nearly impossible, the book alone acts as a travelogue revealing the stories behind the painters and the paintings one often only gets to experience when they are actually at an exhibition Comforting to know, I suppose, that one need not travel to the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway to know that on one copy of his iconic, The Scream , Edvard Munch actually wrote, Could only have been painted by a madman In fact, the best place to see all 1001 paintings may very well be in this book. I saw this in the library, and who could pass up such a title I did look at every painting, but only read the descriptions that interested me Descriptions are very well written by multiple writers The book begins with the 15th century, and is somewhat international I loved finding artists I did not know, such as Vincent Desiderio, a conceptualist working in oil and Malcolm Morley, winner of the Turner Prize long ago However, the only century I could judge 21st , seemed very repetitive multiple paintings from David Hockney , but maybe that is the message once you arrive at the last 13 years, who knows Now that I ve seen them all at least in the book I guess I can die I didn t see one I was willing to die for however, I learned a tremendous amount about art through the ages Beginning with art from 1420 1375 BC and continuing through works done in 2006 AD you come away with a pretty good understanding of how art has changed and how it has remained the same at least until the development of the camera That changed everything Each work includes a brief explanation of the artist and the work It s a book you meander through and then go back and reveiw favorites I learned a great deal about Catholic concepts, history, mental illness, kinds of paint, myths, history, and people Some of the photographs really don t do justice to the works Others are remarkably good There have been some amazing artists over the centuries. This is an amazing collection of small reproductions, one or two to a page, each with a short history of the painter and comments about the painting It is unlike any other view of history seen through the eyes of recognized artists of every type of painting and world view The chronological order of the paintings provides the orientation needed to understand the passions of each age from the 1400s though part of the 2000s I m flagging the paintings that strike me as inspiring or striking, and there are than a few. I loved the Egyptian art, and all of the older styles The modern art doesn t really interest me. The great thing about this must book is that as you read you do get to see the paintings, sort of I usually have a lot of issues with must or best books, but at least here you get to see the must even though not the originals, at full size, or in a museum.The paintings are presented chronologically Each painting is captioned by its name, artist if known , date or era, type, and current home location Then, there is a text section of additional information too.It s a very interesting mini art history lesson.It s fun to see many paintings housed in far off places I m unlikely to ever be able to visit, but while reading this book, I found many museums I d like to visit.As I read the early sections, I did wish many artists had gotten their inspiration from something other than Christianity religion Still, the entire book was very interesting it was fascinating to view this artwork in chronological order.I m finding artists and paintings new to me and also viewing many I ve previously enjoyed while learning about them Much to enjoy here I overall enjoyed some of the later works even than the very early paintings I was very happy when I got to the 1800s.I ve traveled some so I ve seen a significant number of these paintings in their home museums, but luckily paintings are often better traveled than I am, and so I ve seen even at my home town museums, as part of traveling exhibitions.I m surprised by how many of these must see paintings are held in private collections Luckily, most wealthy art owners also lend out their owned paintings to museums and other locations where the public has the opportunity to view them for limited periods of time.While this is an enjoyable art history lesson, some important paintings are missing and some paintings are included that puzzle me And I m perplexed about why certain paintings and not others by artists such as Klee and O Keefe and Matisse and even Diebenkorn, etc were included, or not.Where are some of my paintings Fascinating read though, and feels like making many museum visits, which was fun.I read only through page 941 except I did read the Contributors information I didn t read the Glossary, Artists Index, or the Photo Credits The latter would need a strong magnifying glass in order to read that list.I have to look up of Stephen Farthing s work I really liked the one included painting of his, even before I noticed he was a major contributor to the book.It was sometimes difficult to read the information about the paintings I found hideously ugly At times I did speed read through those, although for some I read carefully as I was curious about why they were included in this book This was way too heavy a book to bring out of the apartment to read on the go, so I read it all at home, and some of it, I admit, while also watching television.I suppose this was an easy and fast read given how quickly this slow reader was able to get through so many pages.Contents PrefaceIntroductionTitle IndexPre 14001400s1500s1600s1700s1800s1900s2000sGlossaryArtist IndexContributorsPhoto CreditsAcknowledgmentsUnder pre 1400 Egyptian, Greek, and Roman ArtByzantineMedieval and Gothic ArtFrescoes and Encaustic PaintingUnder 1400s Early Renaissance Italian and Flemish ArtLinear Perspectives in ArtHumanismExploration of the New WorldNaturalismUnder 1500s High Renaissance ArtIslamic Ateliers and Mughai MiniaturesCalligraphyMannerismFirst Widespread Use of CanvasUnder 1600s BaroqueClassicismGenre PaintingStill LifesDutch MastersUnder 1700s RococoNeoclassicismRomanticismAcademic ArtEnlightenmentUnder 1800s Romanticism versus RealismPre Raphaelite BrotherhoodImpressionism and Post ImpressionismSymbolismFin de Si cleUnder 1900s Art NouveauFauvism and CubismSurrealismAbstract ExpressionismModernismUnder 2000s Eco Art Neo ModernismAvant PopHumanitarian ArtSymbiotic Art Ugh This was a terribly unbalanced look at the paintings of the world According to this book, the only paintings you should see before you die are only from the last 500 years, and are predominantly from western Europe, with few exceptions Both chronologically and geographically, this was a skewed list of works of art.
Stephen Farthing grew up in London and after resisting the temptation to join the Royal Navy, earned a bachelor s degree from Saint Martin s School of Art in 1973 and a Masters degree in painting from the Royal College of Art, London in 1976 1 In the final year of his master s program, Farthing won a scholarship to study at the British School in Rome for one year 2
- 960 pages
- 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
- Stephen Farthing
- 11 April 2018 Stephen Farthing