Masterpieces of Western Art traces the history of painting from
medieval times to the present day. Unlike conventional
publications that merely illustrate a few essentials, this work places
900 paintings taken from every era squarely in the foreground. Each of the ten chapters features an introductory essay profiling the age
and the achievements of major artists, and then presents selected
works accompanied by searching commentaries.
Readers are guided
through the techniques and motifs of the artists, and familiarized with
the spirit and background concerns of the age. Artist to artist, era to
era, century to century, Masterpieces of Western Art adds up to
an authoritative history —
it is for browsing, too, where the reader
can make new discoveries or meet old friends on every page. This imaginary museum of eight centuries of masterpieces by over 500
artists is a place to explore, to acquire a richer understanding of art —
a reliable history as entertaining as it is instructive.