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The Short Story of Art: A Pocket Guide to Key Movements, Works, Themes, & Techniques (Art History Introduction, A Guide to Art)

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The Short Story of Art is a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes and techniques – a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to Damien Hirst installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes and techniques. The design of the book allows the stu The Short Story of Art is a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes and techniques – a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to Damien Hirst installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes and techniques. The design of the book allows the student or art enthusiast to easily navigate their way around key periods, artists and styles. Accessible and concise, it simplifies and explains the most important and influential concepts in art, and shows how they are connected. The book explains how, why and when art changed, who introduced certain things, what they were, where they were produced, and whether they matter. It demystifies artistic jargon, giving readers a thorough understanding and broad enjoyment of art. 'Susie Hodge has culled through hundreds of art movements to highlight and present 36 that illustrate transitions of art, its ideas, representations, characteristics, and production from Prehistoric times up to the dynamic shifts of the 1960s and '70s. As complex as art history is, this book is a welcome, succinct introduction to some classic Western masters.' Cindy Helm, New York Journal of Books 'Excellent introduction to the subject. A good quality book, tightly bound, and well illustrated.' – Colin, Amazon reviewer 'The Short Story of Art is an attractive volume that serves as a convenient introduction to major movements, works, themes, and techniques of Western art. The works within are featured more for their seminal or illustrative nature than their fame per se, so the "story" part of the title is apt. The cross referencing and "Other works by…" sections makes it clear that this book is encouraging the reader to explore art on his own.' –Tommy Grooms, Goodreads reviewer


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The Short Story of Art is a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes and techniques – a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to Damien Hirst installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes and techniques. The design of the book allows the stu The Short Story of Art is a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes and techniques – a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to Damien Hirst installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes and techniques. The design of the book allows the student or art enthusiast to easily navigate their way around key periods, artists and styles. Accessible and concise, it simplifies and explains the most important and influential concepts in art, and shows how they are connected. The book explains how, why and when art changed, who introduced certain things, what they were, where they were produced, and whether they matter. It demystifies artistic jargon, giving readers a thorough understanding and broad enjoyment of art. 'Susie Hodge has culled through hundreds of art movements to highlight and present 36 that illustrate transitions of art, its ideas, representations, characteristics, and production from Prehistoric times up to the dynamic shifts of the 1960s and '70s. As complex as art history is, this book is a welcome, succinct introduction to some classic Western masters.' Cindy Helm, New York Journal of Books 'Excellent introduction to the subject. A good quality book, tightly bound, and well illustrated.' – Colin, Amazon reviewer 'The Short Story of Art is an attractive volume that serves as a convenient introduction to major movements, works, themes, and techniques of Western art. The works within are featured more for their seminal or illustrative nature than their fame per se, so the "story" part of the title is apt. The cross referencing and "Other works by…" sections makes it clear that this book is encouraging the reader to explore art on his own.' –Tommy Grooms, Goodreads reviewer

30 review for The Short Story of Art: A Pocket Guide to Key Movements, Works, Themes, & Techniques (Art History Introduction, A Guide to Art)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    This is a good book for people who are developing a general interest in art - it's a very brief, broad overview that focusses on the very well-known pieces, best used as a starting point to figure out what you're interested in exploring. It also gives some pointers on some pieces that might be of interest if you'd like to know more about a particular movement, theme or technique. I was expecting it to have a bit more of a commentary on art from outside the western perspective than it did: I thou This is a good book for people who are developing a general interest in art - it's a very brief, broad overview that focusses on the very well-known pieces, best used as a starting point to figure out what you're interested in exploring. It also gives some pointers on some pieces that might be of interest if you'd like to know more about a particular movement, theme or technique. I was expecting it to have a bit more of a commentary on art from outside the western perspective than it did: I thought there might be more about Egyptian, Arabic and art from across Africa, Russia, China and Asia and the subcontinent. While there are mentions here and there, as it is it's very focussed on European and American art.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pinar

    Brief summary of some profound artworks and also comprehensible explanation of art- movements. It’s like a pocket hand book, every art-lover must have it in their shelves. It’s not a detailed reading so don’t expect that much.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sutton

    I studied history in college, but my art history knowledge is severely lacking. I work at an art museum and use this book to help me merchandise product. It offers summaries of key movements, works, and themes, allowing me to have enough context to merchandise throughly. Plus, it's interesting and I like that it also covers works and themes. As an overview for someone with a moderate interest in art history, it's been a great beginner's book. I studied history in college, but my art history knowledge is severely lacking. I work at an art museum and use this book to help me merchandise product. It offers summaries of key movements, works, and themes, allowing me to have enough context to merchandise throughly. Plus, it's interesting and I like that it also covers works and themes. As an overview for someone with a moderate interest in art history, it's been a great beginner's book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I can’t help it. I’m magnetically drawn toward succinct illustrated pocket-sized introductions to things.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pongsak Sarapukdee

    A good guide to key movements of art in mainly focusing on western artists. It is easy to read and enjoy the famous arts in the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Merve

    Great book! Loads and loads of information and teaching! For someone who wants to know major movements and themes, who likes to have enough knowledge to discuss about art or glance at a painting and know what type of art it is; it is amazing! My favourite part was the chapter about Works and then the one about the Movements. Sadly, this book also emphasised how women were not considered as artists for an extended time. Of course there were still female painters who broke these rules (such as wome Great book! Loads and loads of information and teaching! For someone who wants to know major movements and themes, who likes to have enough knowledge to discuss about art or glance at a painting and know what type of art it is; it is amazing! My favourite part was the chapter about Works and then the one about the Movements. Sadly, this book also emphasised how women were not considered as artists for an extended time. Of course there were still female painters who broke these rules (such as women can only be portraitists). However reading this book and noticing how 98% of works and painters presented were from male artists (which of course were very talented) made me realise once again how women were set aside...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth Anne

    Pretty good for a concise anthology, but very western centric. African, Asian, and other works outside the western sphere are mentioned from time to time, but were not the main focus of the book. Will need supplementary reading to get the entire scope of art history of the world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert Geoghegan

    Short, concise, moving.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Z1

    I absolutely loved this book. I started as skeptical. I’m more into novels than informative books but this book had me interested in just a few minutes. The one qualm I have about it is that it mostly has only European and American art. It does dabble into other cultures as well, but not enough for it to actually educate us on it. One thing I loved about this book is that it kind of gave us the artist’s past too. For example, on page 82, there is a painting by Artemisia Gentilischi. Judith Slay I absolutely loved this book. I started as skeptical. I’m more into novels than informative books but this book had me interested in just a few minutes. The one qualm I have about it is that it mostly has only European and American art. It does dabble into other cultures as well, but not enough for it to actually educate us on it. One thing I loved about this book is that it kind of gave us the artist’s past too. For example, on page 82, there is a painting by Artemisia Gentilischi. Judith Slaying Holofernes. If you do not know, this is part of the bible. Judith, a young widow from a noble family is slitting the throat of Holofernes, the general of the Assyrian army that invaded her city. He attempted to seduce her only for her to behead him. The thing that is interesting about this is the artist’s backstory. Artemisia Gentilischi painted this painting of a woman killing a man who tried to seduce her. At age eighteen, she had been raped by a fellow artist. I think that adding this information made the book all the more interesting as we can lay back and think. The different sections of the book made it easier to narrow down on what you would want to know about which I found very convenient. All in all, this is a great guide to the art world if you don’t have the time to sit down and spend ten hours reading a thousand page long essay. I highly recommend this book to people who are thinking of entering the world of art.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Harini Padmanabhan

    What i loved about this book : 1. The way it has been structured into four buckets - Movement, Works, Theme and Techniques. For a novice like me, who is interested but doesn't know where to begin, this was a blessing. 2. The connectedness of art with everything about life. I enjoyed reading about how religion, politics, industrial revolution, creation of a middle class etc, affected art. 3. The language of the author. She is really gifted. She was able to explain things so well and keep the reader What i loved about this book : 1. The way it has been structured into four buckets - Movement, Works, Theme and Techniques. For a novice like me, who is interested but doesn't know where to begin, this was a blessing. 2. The connectedness of art with everything about life. I enjoyed reading about how religion, politics, industrial revolution, creation of a middle class etc, affected art. 3. The language of the author. She is really gifted. She was able to explain things so well and keep the reader engaged 4. The detailed explanation of some of the art work. My favorites - Michelangelo's Pieta, Boticelli's Primavera, Fragonard's The Swing and of course Delacroix's Liberty leading the people. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by western art, but doesn't know where to start reading up on it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Bencina

    The Short Story of Art 4/5. Definitely recommended for anyone interested in art or art history but doesn't want to exactly read a huge book. This gives you the gist of some major art movements, techniques, some famous paintings, etc. It is pretty European & American art centric though, so if you're interested in Asian or other art you won't read about it in here. This is a perfect read for someone who knows nothing about art and wants to know more without boring themselves to death with specifics The Short Story of Art 4/5. Definitely recommended for anyone interested in art or art history but doesn't want to exactly read a huge book. This gives you the gist of some major art movements, techniques, some famous paintings, etc. It is pretty European & American art centric though, so if you're interested in Asian or other art you won't read about it in here. This is a perfect read for someone who knows nothing about art and wants to know more without boring themselves to death with specifics. It has alot of photos with captions, so its a pleasurable & easy read. It's a good first stepping stone into maybe future reading if you enjoy the book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Grooms

    The Short Story of Art is an attractive volume that serves as a convenient introduction to major movements, works, themes, and techniques of Western art. The works within are featured more for their seminal or illustrative nature than their fame per se, so the “story” part of the title is apt. The cross referencing and “Other works by...” sections makes it clear that this book is encouraging the reader to explore art on his own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Regina Andreassen

    4 stars because you must appreciate it for what it is: a book that provides a compendium and effective exploration of key artists, and their iconic works, artistic movements and most notable exponents of the various art schools, as well as perspectives, techniques, and materials utilised in the fine arts. This book is a must- read if you want an introductory book about art or you need to refresh your knowledge of it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claire Barnes

    This book was exactly what I was looking for. A very broad introduction to western art to learn about some important movements, artists, works, and build up my vocabulary about art and give me context with which to dive into specific areas that pique my interest. I will definitely be referring to it in the future!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adri

    This is a great little art history guide, especially for someone who doesn't know much about art history, art periods or art techniques. It would be a fun textbook for art history 101, but is also helpful for anyone who just wants a quick overview of art and its influences and how the different styles and periods connect. I'm interested in reading the author's other books on modern art. This is a great little art history guide, especially for someone who doesn't know much about art history, art periods or art techniques. It would be a fun textbook for art history 101, but is also helpful for anyone who just wants a quick overview of art and its influences and how the different styles and periods connect. I'm interested in reading the author's other books on modern art.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ismail Elshareef

    I liked this book, specifically for its brevity and structure. For art lovers who don’t have a degree in Art History (like myself), this is a good reference. I found the sections related to movements and themes to be the most interesting. Essential read for the interested laymen.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad

    A very good for starters in art history. Walks you through the world of arts in terms of schools and trends, major works, themes, and techniques. Visually rich, and recommended for a first read on the subject.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Callan

    A short but informative book that focuses on key pieces of art from European and American regions. It's a good book for people who aren't familiar with key art movements or artists, yet lacks some depth when exploring the artists most famous works. A short but informative book that focuses on key pieces of art from European and American regions. It's a good book for people who aren't familiar with key art movements or artists, yet lacks some depth when exploring the artists most famous works.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liawèn

    Good read for everyone that is looking for a nice short introduction to the different art styles. My only criticism is that some of the reference pictures are split in half by the spine and the focal point and most important part of the painting gets lost. Otherwise I enjoyed the read very much. 😊

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Ward

    This book was an impulse purchased during a visit to Florence and it turned out to be my best impulse purchase yet! It contains just enough details about artists, movements, themes, and techniques - leaving me feeling inspired.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eugenio LP

    This feels like the best book to read before starting a Masters Degree on Art History. I saw this book on the Musée d‘Orsay when I travelled to Paris and felt in love with it. I couldn’t bought it at that time but the moment I came back to Mexico I started saving money to buy it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Each page of text features a major artwork. The featured works are predominantly European. A passing reference might be made to Chinese or Japanese or other eastern art, but emphasis was European. This is a book I will continue to enjoy browsing for an art fix.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Fascinating! A brief overview of art themes and movements throughout history, as well as a few words on some of our greatest masterpieces. Not for the art expert but perfect for someone like me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Now I know art!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daria Hryshkova

    Amazing book! Easy to read, information very well presented.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ago

    A concise but informative introduction to the most important Art movements, artists, techniques and themes. Light read and enjoyable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katharina

    A good first introduction and summary to western art. I would have loved to read a little bit more details on some things and maybe a view on non-western art styles.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Duy Nguyen

    A short guide to understand about Art in general. Most of the books are illustrations.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Minh Châu

    Enlighten my ever interest in art history, a concise and beginner-friendly guide to have a grasp of the basics

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Burns

    Good introduction to art history including notable works, styles and also troupes of art and terminology. Great starting point.

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