WHAT IS A MASTERPIECE? by Charlotte Willard


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Fourteen paintings, representative of a variety of styles, techniques, and cultures, but all considered masterpieces of art, are analyzed to exemplify the fundamental qualities of great painting. The author, a qualified art critic, broadly describes a masterpiece as ""an invention,"" ""a statement of a country, a culture, a man,"" ""a revelation,"" making ""us feel what we see and know,"" and ""is the fruit of the past and has in it the seeds of the future."" These generalizations are pinpointed in discussions of the reproductions of paintings by Uccello, Cezanne, Giotto, Goya, Ku K' ai Chih, an anonymous 16th century Indian, Picasso, da Vinci, Rousseau, Bosch, Botticelli, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Turner. Brief and clearly written, this is an excellent introduction to the critical approach to art.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1964
Publisher: Putnam