Actually, this is more like a large, bound portfolio than a hard cover book, and with this volume Abrams launches a new series which will include similar books on the Prado, the Metropolitan, the Louvre, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Uffizi, the Pitti, etc. The authors- as in this instance- will be the directors of chief curators. Together, the books will provide an introduction to the great paintings the world over, and the more comprehensive books on each gallery will be more meaningful. Our own National Gallery is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, and in his introductory pages the chief curator tells of the inception of the idea on the part of Andrew Mellon, and of the successive collections that have been added, until, in so short a span of time, the Gallery has taken its place in the front ranks. He has chosen 24 paintings for full color reproduction, 65 for two-tone black-and-white, and a running commentary places the importance of the painter, and the special quality of each individual painting. The reproductions in color lack something of the richness and impact of the color work in some previous Abrams' volumes, but at least-taken together- they provide a stimulating introduction to the National Gallery.