ARTS AND IDEAS by William Fleming


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From Hellenistic Greece to the 20th century, this encyclopedic survey of the painting, sculpture, literature, architecture and music of main eras in Western civilization is a competent summary of artistic trends and their interrelationships with society. Mr. Fleming, who approaches his material practically and systematically, divides the work into traditional periods- the Classical,- of Athens, Pergamon and Rome; the Mediaeval,- of early Christianity, Byzantium, monastic Romanesque and Gothic times; the Italian Renaissance; Venetian Baroque; Restoration London; 19th century eclecticism and so forth. Within each, discussion of works and artists varies in content and quality, from mere mention of a name or event to more critical appraisal of creations as true or false, practical or impractical products of their particular age. Fleming's differentiation between the 20th century organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright for example, and the more stereotyped glass boxes of the international style, is characteristic of the more extensive analyses in the book. A good introduction to western art, this does repeat much of what has been adquately covered elsewhere, but nevertheless forms a convenient and usable basic text for the field.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1955
Publisher: Henry Holt