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Looking at ART

Art is personal. Why do some works speak to you? What is it about a particular piece of art that appeals to your senses more than others?

Art - The Definitive Visual Guide, just may have the answer. Most people are under the impression that creative inspiration comes down like a bolt of lightning and the artist magically creates the piece, as quickly as possible lest the inspiration escapes. But, that is rarely the case. Materials and surfaces, have to be taken into consideration. 

At the heart of everything is the artist's viewpoint. Art - The Definitive Visual Guide by DK Books is probably the most in-depth encyclopedia that takes you through various decades of art; it is enlightening and inspiring, it is the graduate course in fine arts that you may have wanted to take but never got around to. 

One of my favourite sections is Looking At Art, which gently walks the art lover through a better understanding of elements like subject and composition, perspective and viewpoint, media and techniques.

This is truly a one-stop visual guide book. From modern media, to understanding the basic principles of colour theory, Art - The Definitive Visual Guide helps you analyze how artists exploit and manipulate these and other principles in their work.  If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the artist's vision and techniques, Art is comprehensive, it's authoritative and, as importantly, it's visually stunning. 

Colour of course is one of the core elements that artists play with to define their works. Want to create stillness and serenity? Use a muted, monochromatic palette. In a modern element we see interior designers use such tried and tested techniques when designing rooms. Pictures accompany facts and learning experiences in Art - The Definitive Visual Guide. A Women Sewing in an Interior, Vithelm Hammershoi, c1900, illustrates beautifully the way expressions such as "feeling blue" and "seeing red" have come about because colour has an emotional effect independent of its subject matter. 
A Women Sewing in an Interior, Vithelm Hammershoi

Honestly this was a challenging book to review...by "challenging" I mean a challenge of the good kind. I could state fact, after fact, and not cover everything. It is a book rich in its depth, and well researched in its breadth, which makes it an encyclopedia of art but without the tedium in execution that one would expect from a college text. 

Every page is a new exercise in understanding art, every sentence a revelation of an expression. If time permitted, I'd spend hours pondering over the fascinating historical references in this book, and still never finish the book. Yes, isn't an exaggeration. 

For historians and art lovers, who want a stunning tome for the coffee table, or a treasured space on their library shelf, there is no better book to own. Art - The Definitive Visual Guide is heavy on the mind as it is on the muscle. Yup, it's well over fifteen pounds, page after page replete with knowledge about 2,500 of the world's most influential painters and sculptures, beautifully presented as a chronological catalog. Art profiles more than 700 artists through all the major milestones of art history, with up-close analysis of key works. 

This just may be one of my favourite books for gift giving this holiday season. Like myself, I know someone will dearly cherish Art - The Definitive Visual Guide for ever. 


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Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who believes in the power of storytelling to connect readers, and strives for diversity and inclusivity. Art The Definitive Visual Guide is published by DK Publishing. Copy provided by DK Canada.



Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)

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