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The Visual Arts: A History

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  5 reviews
An authoritative, balanced, and enlightening history of world art, this new Sixth Edition of The Visual Arts: A History is a worthy successor to the critically acclaimed earlier editions. From a 30,000-year-old statuette to digital art of the 21st century, this book offers the most up-to-date and wide-ranging history of art available in a single volume.

The Visual Arts is

Paperback, 766 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Prentice Hall (first published September 30th 1971)
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This was our text for my Art History Survey I class. We only had through chapter nine, so I can't speak of any chapters following. I found the quality of writing distracting. Run on, convoluted sentences abounded and the Christian chapter at the end seemed to assume that the reader knew the basic premises of Catholicism which was annoying. The author also seemed to write in a very opinionated way which surprised me since textbooks are supposed to be written from an unbiased third party perspecti ...more
This is one huge Art history book, everything from prehistoric, cave art, to the turn of the Millennium. Every artist known to have made a name from himself or herself has made it into this huge book. The writing is dull, although I'm sure that if you read this book more than once it probably would not be. I do not think anything was left out about art history. Although I am not a History major. Pictures are quite good it makes you want to see some of the places in person.
One of my favorite textbooks from my favorite course in college. This book goes through all of the visual arts, architecture, fine art, photography, crafts, set within the major movements of civilization (Greeks, Romans, Buddists, Islamic, Byzantine, I could go on and on). The book makes a valiant effort to explore art from a variety of civilizations and I like how well Honour places everthing within a historical context.
Note: I think I read the 5th or 6th edition as I originally bought this book in 2003.

The only thing I think it needed, was more on prehistoric and early historic architecture and art. Chatal Huyuk, ancient Inca, other early civilizations.

Read this straight through like a novel when I really needed an absorbing diversion (I was in jail. Just kidding.).
Carolyn Schofield
Covers pretty much everything, including good sections on non Western art, but so big it's a bit daunting to actually read for pleasure.
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