A Brief History of Painting: 2000 BC to AD2000

A Brief History of Painting: 2000 BC to AD2000

Roy Bolton

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1841199575

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The urge to create pictures of our world has been with us ever since early man daubed a fingerful of pigment on a rock, or used primitive colours to create exquisite images of the beasts he hunted - images so breathtakingly powerful they have never been surpassed, however sophisticated we have become. This book tells the story of what painting has meant to us, and how its role has changed over the centuries. In the crisp, unstuffy commentary on each of 150 landmark works, Christie's art expert Roy Bolton leads us through the development of painting until our own age, where painting as a painterly craft has been overtaken by a proliferation of new forms introduced by contemporary art. To the question, 'Is the death of painting upon us?' the introductory chapter by Matthew Collings, the multi-award-winning TV art presenter, art historian and cultural critic, gives an inspiring answer: 'Painting justifies itself. Rather than pathetically struggling to keep up with the new freak-show culture of videos and installations, painting will only be worth having if it reconnects with its own inner life, where the old and the new are the same'. Roy Bolton's selection takes us from the Ancient World, via the Italian Renaissance, Rococo and Classicism to Impressionism, Modernism and the Contemporary World. Each painting, with its context and artist, is explained in terms designed to encourage us to judge art for ourselves. Written with authority and full of original and helpful insights, this is a history of art for our times. 'While I find it interesting to think about all sorts of art, I prefer painting to any of it. Painting is soulful, important, serious and humane' - Matthew Collings; 'We need to de-mystify art by stripping it down to its bare essentials, then rebuilding it ourselves, using our own minds and eyes, without all the pompous clutter' - Roy Bolton.

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northern Italy. The combination of old and new filled a void left between the old Gothic style, used for the mountains, and the ultra-modern perspective paintings from which the foreground figures borrow their sophistication. That said, this painting is undeniably beautiful. It doesn’t matter to us that the rabbit and dog up the mountain are bigger than the hunter. It is populist art, painted with skill. THE ARTIST Gozzoli was a pupil of Fra Angelico but wasn’t interested in following his path.

optimistic enthusiasm and love of hands-on experiment, together with the success he had in so many areas, must have had a huge impact on his student Leonardo. Not only was he the most important sculptor between Donatello and Michelangelo, but his new style of painting became the basis of Leonardo’s style. Verrocchio, which means ‘true eye’, had an enormous workshop in Florence that dominated in almost every artistic area. His versatility was incredible, and included sculptures in stone, bronze

Reni’s smoother and more subdued colouring, more like Raphael than Titian, ruled the tastes of Rome and Bologna. Guercino’s own style never saw the limelight, and by his later years his work became very like the painting of Reni. THE PAINTING Rubens’ greatest talent was the way he could give life to paint. Like Titian, who died the year before Rubens was born, he had in instinctive feel for oils. This little portrait, probably of his eldest daughter Clara Serena, has an incredible immediacy

sanctioned to spread his huge empire and to rule over man and beast. The painting is a development from Persian School art, where the outlines are drawn and then coloured in like Chinese and Japanese painting. Basawan drew this and his colourist Chatai added the bright, Hindi colours. Basawan’s new feeling of space and distance was influenced by Europeans in India. THE ARTIST Basawan revolutionized Mughal art with his action packed three-dimensional paintings. His sensitive portraits made him

30, 34, 69, 78, 80, 86, 88, 92 Goya, Francesco José de 174, 176-7, 195, 200, 219 Gozzoli, Benozzo 20, 34-5, 86 Greco-Roman art 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 Grünewald, Matthias 71, 84-5, 90 Guardi, Francesco 152, 158-9 Guercino 107 Hals, Frans 97, 110-11, 195, 200 Harlequin and Columbine (Watteau) 140-1 Harmonie Janne (Matisse) 228-9 Harmony in Grey - Chelsea in Ice (Whistler) 206-7 Hassam, Frederick Childe 226-7 Head of a Girl (Rubens) 108-9 Hercules discovering Telephus (Roman wall painting) 6-7

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