The Visual Arts: A History
The most up-to-date and wide-ranging history of art ever published in a single volume, The Visual Arts: A History presents art as an integrated dimension of human activity. With insight and elegance, it offers an authoritative, balanced, and stimulating account of the arts - ranging from a statuette carved in central Europe some 30,000 years ago to contemporary installation pieces by Jenny Holzer and Gary Hill. The scope is international, including the art of Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The fine arts are represented, of course, by painting, mosaic, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, and photography. But so are other arts: textiles, coins, pottery, enamels, gold and silver work, Earth and Land Art, Body and Video Art, to name a few. Authors Hugh Honour and John Fleming, two of this century's most esteemed art historians, explore the purpose and meaning of art in ways that challenge conventional ideas about "progress" and aesthetic enjoyment. They show how art can give pleasure and also deepen our self-knowledge. They guide us in understanding the visual arts' role in maintaining beliefs, practicing rituals, and transmitting moral and social codes. On the practical side, their text presents a sound account of techniques and methods of painting, building, and sculpting, and it explains the basic tools of the visual arts, such as color and perspective systems.
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