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The first millennium saw a rich and distinctive artistic tradition form in
Europe. While books had long been central to the Christian religious
tradition, education, and culture, they now became an important artistic
medium, sometimes decorated with brilliant colors and precious metals.
Lawrence Nees explores issues of artist patronage, craftsmanship, holy men
and women, monasteries, secular courts, and the expressive and educational
roles of artistic creation. He discusses early Christian art within the late
Roman tradition, and the arts of the newly established kingdoms of northern
Europe not as opposites, but as different aspects of a larger historical
situation. This approach reveals the onset of an exciting new visual
relationship between the church and the populace throughout medieval
Europe, restoring a previously marginalized subject to a central status in our
artistic and cultural heritage.
Early Medieval Art by Lawrence Nees
Oxford, ISBN 0192842439

      


The stunning masterpieces of Ancient Greece and Rome are fundamental to
the story of art in Western culture and to the origins of art history. The
expanding Greek world of Alexander the Great had an enormous impact on
the Mediterranean superpower of Rome. Generals, rulers, and artists seized,
imitated, and re-thought the stunning legacy of Greek painting and sculpture,
culminating in the greatest art-collector the world had ever seen: the Roman
emperor Hadrian.
This exciting new look at Classical art starts with the excavation of the buried
city of Pompeii, and investigates the grandiose monuments of ancient tyrants,
and the sensual beauty of Apollo and Venus. Concluding with that most
influential invention of all, the human portrait, it highlights the re-discovery
of Classical art in the modern world, from the treasure hunts of Renaissance
Rome to scientific retrieval of artworks in the twenty-first century.
Classical Art: From Greece to Rome by Mary Beard and John Henderson
Oxford, 2001


    
Mostly religious in function, but preserving the classicism of Greco-Roman
art, Byzantine buildings and art objects communicate the purity and
certainties of the public face of early Christian art. Focusing on the art of
Constantinople between 330 and 1453, this book probes the underlying
motives and attitudes of the society which produced such rich and delicate art
forms. It examines the stages this art went through as the city progressed
from being the Christian center of the Eastern Roman Empire, to its crisis
during attack from the new religion of Islam, to its revived medieval splendor
and then, after the Latin capture of 1204 and the Byzantine reoccupation after
1261, to its arrival at a period of cultural reconciliation with east and west.
Byzantine Art by Robin Cormack
Oxford, 2000

         
This comprehensive survey uniquely covers both Aboriginal art and that of
European Australians, providing a revealing examination of the interaction
between the two. Painting, bark art, photography, rock art, sculpture, and the
decorative arts are all fully explored to present the rich texture of Australian
art traditions.
Well-known artists such as Margaret Preston, Rover Thomas, and Sidney
Nolan are all discussed, as are the natural history illustrators, Aboriginal
draughtsmen, and pastellists, whose work is only now being brought to light
by new research. Taking the European colonization of the continent in 1788
as his starting point, Sayers highlights important issues concerning colonial
art and women artists in this fascinating new story of Australian art.
Australian Art by Andrew Sayers
Oxford, 2001

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The Italian Renaissance was a pivotal period in the history of Western culture
during which artists such as Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and
Leonardo created some of the world's most influential and exciting works in a
variety of artistic fields. Here, Evelyn Welch presents a fresh picture of the
Italian Renaissance by challenging traditional scholarship and placing
emphasis on recreating the experience of contemporary Italians: the patrons
who commissioned the works, the members of the public who viewed them,
and the artists who produced them. Art in Renaissance Italy 1350-1500
dramatically revises the traditional story of the Renaissance and takes into
account new issues that have greatly enriched our understanding of the
period. From paintings and coins to sculptures and tapestries, Welch
examines the issues of materials, workshop practices, and artist-patron
relationships, and explores the ways in which visual imagery related to
contemporary sexual, social, and political behavior.
Art in Renaissance Italy: 1350-1500 by Evelyn Welch
Oxford, 2001
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