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Appreciating ART through the (p)ages of history and culture

LatinaLista — One of the many definitions of art is that “art is a human activity, made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
Whether it’s prehistoric stick figures, classic Madonna images, leafy landscapes, tortured self-portraits, psychedelic graffiti sprawls or the contemplative elements that comprise performance art, art has a long, long history with thousands of players. Unless you’re a student of Art History, it’s impossible for the casual lover of art to fully understand and appreciate just how art has evolved over the centuries — until now.

ART: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary (DK Publishing, November 2008) brings the evolutionary history of art to our fingertips. Yet unlike dry, academic Art History books, ART simplifies the history to be appreciated in two ways — through abbreviated entries and thousands of reproduced illustrations of well-known art and their artists.
The 612-page coffee table book acts as a time machine taking readers through the different centuries and the art that defined it. From prehistoric art and the early Christian and Islam art of the 1400s all the way through the contemporary art being created around the world today, the book presents the subject matter in easy digestible bits mixing historical facts, artistic analysis and biographical information.

For those who don’t know a lot about art, there’s even a short primer on the key aspects for viewers to consider when looking at a work of art, such as color, composition and technique and media.
Readers of ART will enjoy learning the stories and history behind the art works and the artists and the massive range of categories from Hindu and African to Central and South American. While ART may be hard to put down, because of how the timeline is laid out, it’s easy to pick up from where you left off.
Though the book is a bit pricy, about $50.00, ART is a fun and fascinating read that will hold the attention of even the most art-challenged reader.

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