Masterpieces of Western Art traces the history of painting from medieval times to the present day. But unlike conventional publications, that merely illustrate a few essentials, this work places 900 paintings taken from every era squarely in the foreground.
The ten chapters each feature an introductory essay profiling the age and the achievements of the major artists, and then present selected works accompanied by searching commentaries. The reader is guided through the techniques and motifs of the artists, and familiarised with the spirit and background concerns of the age. Artist to artist, era to era, century to century, Masterpieces of Western Art adds up to an authoritative history – it is for browsing, too, where the reader can make new discoveries or meet old friends on every page.
This imaginary museum of eight centuries of masterpieces by over 500 artists is a place to explore, to acquire a richer understanding of art – a reliable history, a handbook, as entertaining as it is instructive.