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The Story Of Painting
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The Story Of Painting

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,810 ratings  ·  27 reviews
For those who've enjoyed the original, the good news is that the new edition of The Story of Painting has grown by more than 300 pages of photographs--magnified close-ups of details from nearly half the 450 paintings in the book. Fauvist paint strokes become mighty slabs; sparkling light on a Dutch still life is revealed as a series of tiny dots; the cheeks of a young man ...more
Published (first published March 15th 1994)
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This book hit me before the television portion did...literally. I was at a gallery showing of photos from the brother of the film industry's biggest star in the 1990s, and as usual I was lost, not being the most adept at art or photography. When I wandered into a conversation about paintings and admitted my confusion between Manet and Monet and Millet and Magritte (I am 'M' challenged), an enthusiastic estate agent ran to her car and came flying back with this heavy weapon, which she then tossed ...more
I love art. I love nuns. I love Sister Wendy. What a fabulous, humble, knowledgable, woman. If you have never seen one of her shows from a PBS series, you must youtube one immediately. I have shown her videos to students, and at first they laugh at her, but then this transformation takes over, and they really listen and enjoy her.
Dec 04, 2009 Ruth marked it as i-won-t-be-reading  ·  review of another edition
I know I'm in the minority, but I can't stand silly Sister Wendy and her breathless gushing. The TV program did her in as far as I'm concerned. Not for me.

End of growl.
Sister Wendy's intuition about the insights of art are mind-bending...I love her series and I agree with her insights. She made me see art different as a story indeed of painting. I now know why the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. Sister Wendy taught me that. It's woman's joke on man and the gender gap. Man tries to paint woman to understand her, capture her, control her, whilst all the time, that's impossible. She smiles because the very idea is ridiculous to attemp ...more
'The Story of Painting'. Who doesn't adore Sister Wendy Beckett? Passionate, insightful, articulate, she is a masterful writer and educator. Although perhaps ostensibly written for the neophyte, serious students of art would be mistaken by not giving proper accolades to the "The Story of Painting". I did find one very minute error on a very peripheral subject. The famous Mertin Behaim globe of 1492 is described as 'the first terrestrial globe' when in fact it is not the first, but the oldest in ...more
Even the librarians (who know my penchant for thick books by now) gave me double takes when I checked this out. It's one of the biggest books i've ever seen! It was fascinating, though - I actually really enjoyed it, despite that I've never actually read an art history book before or since; this was a fairly random experience - and learned a lot just flipping through and reading pages at random during the three weeks I had it out. (And - to ice the cake - I actually knew the Jeopardy question ab ...more
Oh, what a wonderful book this is. Wonderful. And what was most wonderful about it is that it's written by the wonderful Sister Wendy Beckett, whose attitude for virtually every painter is, "oh, now THIS painter, oh, he is WONDERFUL!!"

And since I'm in that frame of mind as of late about painting, I greatly appreciated her extraordinary positive and irony-free account of these wonderful artists. I read all 700 plus pages of it, which is to say I read about fifty pages. The rest are filled with w
The illustrations on this book weren't the best. Lot's of the detail pictures look like they were accidentally over-sized during the copy process. I think I bought it because it was wrapped in plastic. Had I examined it before-hand, I wouldn't have purchased it.
Good for reading once, but too big to tote around. It's a coffee table book.
Holly Lindquist
Fantastic, in-depth overviews of famous paintings by our favorite lisping nun. I also really like the illustrations and lay-out. The publisher, Dorling-Kindersley, can usually be relied upon to produce quality work, especially when it has a strong visual element. Any of their art-related books are worth picking up.
I love this book. The internet is awesome for info but I love having Sister Wendy's inimitable introductions and explanations.
Robespierre Cat
This was a gift, I really enjoyed. I suppose it's just 3 stars because.....I've read so much art history.
Mark Reed
Ok, so I didn't so much as read this as I heavily browsed it. :) But this book is perfect for that. It's well organized and presents the history of painting chronologically so it's easy to skip around and read about different eras or types of art that catch your fancy. It's got lots and lots of illustrations so you can see what the work being discussed looks like. It also includes many insets and close ups of many masterpieces. She includes background and history of the artists and does a reason ...more
Meredith Henning
Great resource for all ages of art appreciation and art history.
Sally Hegedus
A quite enjoyable trip through the major styles and artists in the story of painting, from the famous cave drawings in France and elsewhere to modern times. What fun to read the style explanations and comments, and to pore over the many, many paintings shown in this super-thick and lovely book. I loved the enlarged images of portions of certain paintings, which allowed me to really get up close to examine the brush strokes and details -- particularly for the modern art section. I had lots of fun ...more
I enjoyed this book not only for the comprehensive history of painting it provides, but also for the illustrations, many of which were two-page spread closeups of a small section of a big painting, which gives a better view of style, technique and detail than an ordinary art book provides. Sister Wendy has a clear appreciation of art and her enthusiasm extends to all styles and epochs of painting. The only complaint I have about this book is that she occasionally lapses into a sort of wine-conno ...more
Comprehensive book with great pictures and interesting asides, anecdotes and analysis. I only gave the book 3 stars because Beckett engages in too much psychological analysis of the artists. She often speculates on what they were trying to express in their works as if she were standing there with them as they painted, or living inside their mind even.

She also lays on the lofty adjectives and hyperbole as she gushes a bit too much throughout. It was distracting to me after reading the more measur
The edition I read did not have this subtitle, so it must be a series. The Story of Painting, 1994 has a van Gogh on the lower left and the crucifixon on the upper right. In her wonderful style, she highlights details that make the painting come alive for the viewer.
The pictures in my edition don't show enough detail to support the text, and Sister Wendy generally presents a lot of her interpretation as the interpretation. Not what I was looking for.
Prettig leesbaar overzicht. Zie ook de youtube-filmpjes van sister Wendy. De bladzijden waarop een bepaaald schilderij in detail besproken wordt zijn mijn favorieten.
Sophia Sky
Easy to pick up and put down at will. I am enjoying how much I am learning about technique and style without having to slog though a technical manual.
Carolina Zb
loved it!
400 paintings
some with detailed explanation
wonderful introduction for mainpainters
really allows uou to love art
This book was a great read!
Always love Sister Wendy. It's a great reference book for the art room.
Sister Wendy breaks it down. She's great. Loved her in the PBS shows as well.
A great reference to keep going back to, for both art lovers and scholars.
Karina Al-mohsin
Even the kids enjoying looking through it
I have a love of art so this suits me well.
Carlos Enrique
Carlos Enrique marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2015
Shaimaa Elaraby
Shaimaa Elaraby marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2015
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Sister Wendy Beckett is a South African-born British art expert, consecrated virgin and contemplative hermit who became an unlikely celebrity during the 1990s, presenting a series of acclaimed art history documentaries for the BBC.
More about Wendy Beckett...

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