Synopses & Reviews
From prehistoric cave paintings to the Mona Lisa, from Nefertiti to Andy Warhol's Big Campbell's Soup Can 19, this book pairs full-color reproductions of 50 of the world's most celebrated masterpieces with brief, kid-accessible stories about how they were made, who made them and where they fit in the fascinating history of art. Featuring art from Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, organized chronologically, and including timelines and a glossary of art terms, this book is a wonderful overview of art and culture through the ages.
The history of art is long and complex, yet Sayre has managed to show 50 major works of art from 22,000 B.C. to A.D. 1964 and successfully summarize the background of each one, the artist, and its social and historical context as well as the reason(s) it is important. The masterpieces discussed begin with Woman from Brassempouy and conclude with Ren Magritte's The Son of Man. The author's breezy style captures interest early on and is easy enough for beginning art students while remaining informative for teens. Many of the world's cultures are represented and a variety of techniques are explained: woodblock printing, painting, tapestries, primitive carving, sculpture, and more. The full-color reproductions are at least a quarter-page in size, though most are larger. A funky, framed inset box gives the title, medium, size, artist, and year the work was created. Though some pages seem a little crowded, the layout is energetic enough to forgive the loss of white space. A time line runs along the outside edge of the pages, with an asterisk marking the date of the depicted pieces. A dazzling and accessible introduction to art history. -School Library Journal, Starred Review
"...this is an accessible, visually engaging, multicultural survey of art that's rare for this age group, and young readers will come away with a better understanding of the complex societies, across the ages and continents, that responded to their worlds through art." -Booklist
From prehistoric paintings to Andy Warhol's works, this book pairs full-color reproductions of 50 of the world's most celebrated masterpieces with brief, kid-accessible stories about how they were made, who made them, and where they fit in the fascinating world of art.
About the Author
Henry M. Sayre is a professor of art history and the author of many art books, including A World of Art and The Object of Performance. He lives in Oregon.