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Art in Detail

100 Masterpieces

Susie Hodge


An accessible guide to the finer details of 100 masterpieces of Western art


Great paintings cannot be fully understood in a single encounter; there is always more to be derived from them. Art lovers may revisit and reconsider the masterpieces throughout their lives, but a deeper understanding can only be gained by analysing the painting in detail, be it the placement of the subject, the lighting, the style of brushstrokes or the themes.

Art in Detail examines 100 iconic paintings from the Western canon and spotlights the finer points a quick glance will almost certainly fail to reveal. These include subtle internal details, such as hidden symbols and artistic tricks employed by the painter to achieve particular effects. In addition, Susie Hodge writes intelligently about external influences on the artist – everything from the socioeconomic context in which he or she flourished, to smaller local difficulties, such as the level of air pollution at the time the painting was created. And she treats each of her subjects not only, to quote Matthew Arnold, ‘as in itself it really is’, but also as part of a tradition that links the oldest painting to the most recent, as artists pass a metaphorical baton down through the ages.

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'A potted history of some 800 years in 100 carefully and wisely selected paintings'
Art Book Review

'This beautiful and very accessible book is invaluable, a joy to dip into'
Mature Times

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 23.4 x 21.9 cm

Extent: 432 pp

Publication date: 26 August 2021

ISBN: 9780500296417

Contents List

Introduction • 100 paintings

About the Author

Susie Hodge is an art historian, author, artist and journalist with more than 100 books to her name. She has an MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London, and is a Fellow of the RSA. She has twice been named the No. 1 art writer by the Independent.