THE BOOKS THAT SHAPED ART HISTORY: THE BEST TEXTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

By visualMAG. March 12, 2013

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It’s not only paintings that speak of art. The figure of the historian, curator and, by extension, that of the book or artistic text, as a source of inspiration and knowledge is essential to enthusiasts who need an expert and experienced view to corroborate their own perspective.

Understanding the history of art, its motivations, its risks and its artists is no mean feat. But managing to do so is to understand how we’ve changed, how we’ve adapted and how humankind has overcome much of what it saw as its limitations. Historians and those that have tackled, researched and interpreted the individual schools that changed the course of the history of art hold the key to that knowledge.

For that reason, publishing house Thames & Hudson has gathered together some of the most important artistic texts published in the 20th Century in The Books That Shaped Art History. This compilation consists of 16 chapters each dedicated to one book and under the supervision of a renowned expert within the world of art research at present.

Thames & Hudson has therefore managed to provide an outline of an essential book that aims to unite a past indebted to its own past with a present indebted to the historians who brought that past to light. A vast intellectual reflection which includes, amongst others, detailed studies of Cézanne and Matisse, by Roger Fry and Alfred H. Barr, and essays such as Religious Art in France: The Thirteenth Century, by Emile MâleThe Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, by Kenneth ClarkThe Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, by Rosalind Klauss, and the renowned book written by Nikolaus Pevsner Pioneers of the Modern Movement: From William Morris to Walter Gropius. The introduction, formulated by editor and author John Paul Stonard, also serves to appreciate the repercussions that all these books had in their time.

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