Looking at Pictures: Art Essentials Series

Looking at Pictures: Art Essentials Series

by Susan Woodford


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An accessible and attractive beginner’s guide to getting the most out of looking at pictures

Beautifully illustrated with some of the world’s greatest pictures, from cave paintings and Roman mosaics to Picasso and Damien Hirst, this affordable guide explains the art of looking at and understanding pictures, equipping the reader with the vision and tools to approach any museum picture with confidence.

Looking at pictures can be an exciting or moving experience, but some pictures—often the most rewarding—require some explanation before they can be fully understood. Delving into the origins, designs, and themes of over one hundred pictures from different periods and places, this book illuminates the art of looking at—and talking about—pictures. Susan Woodford shows how one can read a picture by examining the formal and stylistic devices used by an artist, and she explores popular themes and subject matter, and the relationship of pictures to the societies that produced them.

This indispensable guide is supplemented by a glossary of key terms, ranging from art movements and technical terms to religious and classical terminology, to give readers all the information they need at their fingertips.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780500293218
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 05/15/2018
Series: Art Essentials Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 742,122
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Susan Woodford

received her BA from Harvard University and her MA and PhD from
Columbia University. She now teaches art history as well as lectures at the British
Museum. She is the prize-winning author of Looking at Pictures, also in the Art
Essentials series.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Ways of Looking at Pictures 8

Land and Sea 18

Portraits 30

Everyday Things 44

History and Mythology 62

The Christian World 80

Creating Patterns on Flat Surfaces 98

Tradition 108

Design and Organization 116

The Depiction of Space 124

Formal Analysis 134

Hidden Meanings 148

Quality 154

Glossary 162

Further Reading 172

Index 173

Acknowledgements 175

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