THE PICTURE HISTORY OF PAINTING: From Cave Painting to Modern Times by H.W. and Dora Jane Janson
Kirkus Star

THE PICTURE HISTORY OF PAINTING: From Cave Painting to Modern Times

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A lovely book to awaken, sustain and enrich interest in the arts, this is a rarity for it encompasses the major eras and the great names yet offers a fresh, unhackneyed collection of reproductions. The text is large, clear, and very readable. A further distinction lies in the sensitive selections chosen from the many works of each painter. Throughout, the authors seem to have chosen paintings most characteristic of the artist --while still avoiding the too-familiar. Here we see the preoccupations of man through the ages --with good and evil, in the heaven and hell of Jerome Bosch and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel; with his celestial aspirations in Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks and Bellini's St. Francis in Ecstasy; with his overflowing joy, the fleshly goodness of the earth and home and family attested in the Book of Hours, in Chardin, Franz Hals and Renoir. Here are the ascetism of El Greco, the sweet eternal springtime of Botticelli. From the cave paintings through Greece and Rome and Egypt, the Renaissance, Mannerists to the present, one sees the work of portraitists, satirists, landscape painters, and inevitably those who put art at the service of state or church. The many color reproductions are superb. A book to cherish, this is a revised and enriched superstructure based upon The Story of Painting for Young People, 1952.

Publisher: Harry Abrams