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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages

The Art Book

The Art Book - Editors of Phaidon Press

So if you re-titled this, "The (Almost Entirely Western) Painting and Sculpture (14th - 20th Century) Book, you'd know what you're in for - but it's not exactly pithy. Only the "Painting and Sculpture" part is openly acknowledged by the editors. The rest is deduced from what actually appears in the book, which is an alphabetically arranged list of 500 artists with one image each and a paragraph or two of annotation about the artist and the work displayed. There's also basic biographical details and information on the chosen image.


As the editors note, the alphabetical arrangement leads to some startling contrasts since proximate works in the book can be separated by centuries and continents in terms of their actual production. This was actually quite fun, just look elsewhere for an education on how everything fits together conceptually, geographically and historically. 500 entries gives room for all the most famous artists (given the constraints of my alternative title) with plenty of space left over for people I had not heard of, some of whom piqued my interest. It was also pleasing to find women represented as far back as the 1600s, their work being of a quality matching that of the book generally.


Great for flipping through - a perfect "coffee table" book.