Following on from "The Art Book" (1994), "30,000 Years of Art" provides an original and accessible way of looking at art. On its publication in 2007, "The Daily Telegraph" described it as 'a bold new publishing event that promises to redefine the parameters of art history'. In this mini format edition of the book, 500 great works of art from all periods and regions in the world have been carefully selected from the original book and are again arranged in chronological order, breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history to celebrate the vast range of human artistry across time and space. The book presents art in a way different from other art history compendia, revealing the diversity, or in many cases similarity, of man's artistic achievements through time and around the globe. Ordered chronologically, the resulting timeline of works leads to compelling browsing: surprising juxtapositions offer intellectual pleasure and a sense of wonder and discovery. The selection of works from across the world, arranged in the sequence in which they were made, takes the reader on a global and historical journey, responding to such questions as 'where does the earliest art appear?' What were artists creating in China or Africa while Rembrandt was painting portraits in Leyden? How were similar subjects — equestrian themes, landscapes, religious scenes — manipulated by artists in Aztec Mexico and Medieval Europe? While artworks from ancient Greece or the European Renaissance or pre-Columbian Americas will be interspersed with contemporaneous works created in Africa, India or Japan, an extraction of the Greek or Renaissance or American works could stand alone as an essential abridgement of the finest art of that period or culture. The selection of works is non-hierarchical and includes both fine and decorative arts — most commonly painting and sculpture, but also textiles, masks, ceramics and jewellery. Primarily functional arts (furniture, architecture, industrial and graphic design etc.) are not covered. Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place of origin, style or culture, medium, dimensions etcetera), and a text that provides critical review of the work, placing it in its art historical context and thus explaining its contribution to the development of the history of art.
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