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Art: The Whole Story

Stephen Farthing, Richard Cork


An accessible and hugely popular history of art explained through many of the world’s most famous masterpieces

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Written by an international team of artists, art historians and curators, Art: The Whole Story gives readers unparalleled insights into the world’s most iconic artworks. Organized chronologically, this revised edition traces the evolution of artistic development period by period right up to the present, with the illustrated text covering every genre of art, from painting and sculpture to conceptual art and performance. Cultural timelines help the reader with historical context.

Masterpieces that epitomize each period or movement are highlighted and analysed in detail. Everything from use of colour and visual metaphors to technical innovations is explained, enabling you to interpret the meanings of world-famous masterpieces – Mughal miniatures; Japanese prints in the 19th century; the colour theories behind Seurat’s remarkable La Grande Jatte; and why Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was so shocking in its day.

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'The perfect present for someone preparing for an art-history course at university'
Sunday Times

'A comprehensive, if concise, history of world art in a hefty but manageable tome'
RA Magazine

'Perfectly designed as a one-stop reference guide: one to dip in and out of … indispensable'
Artists & Illustrators

'This is something of a corker'
The Artist

'A great introduction to [art history] for older kids ... Spirited and accessible'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Flexibound

Edition Type: Revised

Size: 24.5 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 576 pp

Publication date: 4 October 2018

ISBN: 9780500294468

Contents List

Foreword • Introduction • 1. Prehistoric to Gothic Art • 2. 15th- and 16th-century Art • 3. 17th- and 18th-century Art • 4. 19th-century Art 5. 1900–1945 • 6. 1945–Present Day

About the Author

Stephen Farthing is a painter and the Rootstein Hopkins Research Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts, London.

Richard Cork is an art historian, critic, curator and broadcaster. He has been an art critic for the Evening Standard, The Listener, The Times and the New Statesman, and is a past Turner Prize judge.