Atlas of Western Art History: Artists, Sites, and Movements from Ancient Greece to the Modern Age

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9780816024575: Atlas of Western Art History: Artists, Sites, and Movements from Ancient Greece to the Modern Age

This is a visual companion to the many narrative histories of art. Using colour reproductions, maps and other illustrations, it illuminates all the movements, trends and artists that have infludenced Western artistic tradition for more than 2000 years. Edited by a team of distinguished art historians, arranged chronologically and grouped by period and style, this volume fixes art history to actual sites, with the intention of making it easier for students, historians and art lovers to make sense of the vast waves of artistic movement.

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From Booklist:

Overlapping and backtracking pathways of artistic influence can be confusing to even the most astute art history student. The Atlas of Western Art History introduces a "cartographic approach to western art history" in which "maps explain the historical context of artistic developments, the rise of particular styles, the locations where individual artists worked, and the sites of thousands of important works of art." It is designed to be a "visual companion to narrative histories of art" rather than competing with such standard surveys as H. W. Janson's History of Art. Although the atlas has some shortcomings, it is a visually appealing publication that generally accomplishes its goals. Steer is professor emeritus of art history at London University, and White is professor of art history at the University of Calgary and Columbia University.

The atlas consists of about 150 two-page spreads on specific aspects of art history. Text appears on the left-hand page, with one or more thematic maps on the right. The essays were written by contributors who are listed, without credentials, in the front of the book. They are intended to "provide a general introduction to someone approaching each subject for the first time." Chapters are arranged chronologically from "The Greek World and its Colonies" (from the eighth to the fourth century B.C) to "American Art 1900-1950." They are distributed among five major sections corresponding to the traditional divisions of western art history. Each section begins with an introduction, one or more large colorplates, and several maps establishing the political context of the artistic developments of the period. For example, the three maps in the section "The Medieval World" depict "Byzantine Europe," "The Europe of Charlemagne," and "Europe in the Fourteenth Century." Most of the thematic maps fall into several categories: maps with symbols indicating types of artistic activity, site, or style (e.g., ivory carving, printing press, monastery); maps of cities or regions with locations of individual artists or monuments indicated; and maps with arrows tracing artistic exchange ("Art and Architecture in the Holy Land and its Influence on the West") or routes of materials ("Italian Art: Sources of Stone"). Small locator maps appear at the tops of the pages. The excellent illustrations--200 color and 100 black and white--often present less-familiar monuments rather than the best-known examples of the style or period.

Some chapters are more successful than others. The best are lucid overviews of complex subjects for the nonspecialist. "Cistercian Architecture," for example, provides an excellent introduction to this austere monastic style. The map indicates mother houses, affiliated houses, and outposts far from the order's French origins. Symbols on the map are easy to read, and the color photo of the Abbey Church of Senanque across a field of lavender is striking. The article will make nonspecialists want to learn more about Cistercian architecture. Unfortunately, readers will find no suggestions for further reading. The most successful maps present information that is not easily available graphically and with easily distinguishable colors and symbols. Most city maps ("Trecento Siena," "Venetian Architecture") fit this description, as do those tracing movements of artistic styles. In "Artists' Travels in the 17th Century," for example, an arrow from Naples to Malta represents Caravaggio's journey of 1607-08.

Other chapters will be less clear to the nonspecialist. "Art and Architecture from Constantine to Theodoric" refers to artworks as though the reader should already be familiar with them and without placing them geographically. The article "Early Medieval Ravenna" refers to a "peristyle courtyard," and the article "Viking Art" to "dendochronological studies," without explaining the terms. The use of colors and symbols is also problematic. Many maps use small symbols filled with subtle colors to indicate monuments, dates, or styles. "North Italian Architecture and Sculpture in the 15th and 16th Centuries," for example, uses numbered squares filled with pale yellow and green to indicate major architectural sites. Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish the colors. In "Medieval Secular Architecture," so many symbols for dates and types of architecture are clustered around Paris and London that it is difficult to tell which dates go with which types of architecture.

The atlas ends with an index to place names, artists, styles, and movements. Names of artworks are generally not included (e.g., Bear Run, Pennsylvania, is listed in the index, but not Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, although it is shown on the map and in a photograph). Text references are in regular type, maps in boldface, and illustrations in bold italic type.

The value of this innovative geographic approach to art history and the quality of most of the chapters more than compensate for the awkwardness of some maps and essays. The Atlas of Western Art History is recommended for academic and public libraries.

From Library Journal:

Art meets geography in this sure-to-be-popular title. Steer and White chart, more or less chronologically, the course of art history with brief topical essays and some 150 maps. Superimposed upon plain base maps (shortlines and rivers only, with too few key maps of the physical landscape) are a great variety of colors and geometric symbols relating to an artistic topic, time, and place. Many of the historical subjects covered are obvious ones, like the medieval pilgrimage routes and the expansion of Alexander the Great's empire. Others are quite novel and demonstrate the keen descriptive power of maps: the travels of individual masters during the Ren-aissance, for instance, and the widespread sources of raw materials in antiquity. Least effective are those devoted to American art, which amount to little more than lists of names lain atop a map. The authors wisely intend this to supplement rather than supplant the more standard surveys of art history. No doubt it will prove a richly useful resource for students and art aficionados alike. Highly recommended.
Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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John Steer; Antony White
Editore: Facts on File (1994)
ISBN 10: 081602457X ISBN 13: 9780816024575
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Descrizione libro Facts on File, 1994. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 081602457X

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Descrizione libro Facts on File, 1994. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: Fine. First Edition. This specific hardback book is in new condition with a hard board cover that has sharp edges and corners and has a tight binding. The pages are clean, crisp, unmarked and uncreased. The dust jacket is in fine condition with barely detectable wear if any. We package all books in custom cardboard book boxes for shipment and ship daily with tracking numbers.; "This is a visual companion to the many narrative histories of art. Using colour reproductions, maps and other illustrations, it illuminates all the movements, trends and artists that have infludenced Western artistic tradition for more than 2000 years. Edited by a team of distinguished art historians, arranged chronologically and grouped by period and style, this volume fixes art history to actual sites, with the intention of making it easier for students, historians and art lovers to make sense of the vast waves of artistic movement."; 12.88 X 10.25 X 1.38 inches; 336 pages. Codice libro della libreria 13170

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John Steer, Antony White
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ISBN 10: 081602457X ISBN 13: 9780816024575
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Descrizione libro Facts on File, 1994. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX081602457X

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Steer, John, White, Antony
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ISBN 10: 081602457X ISBN 13: 9780816024575
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Descrizione libro Facts on File, 1994. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P11081602457X

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