From primitive prehistoric daubs to the world’s finest masterpieces, the world of art is vividly brought to life in this stunning fully illustrated encyclopaedia that celebrates the very best of visual art.  

Fashioning utensils from sticks, stones, bones or using their fingers, and producing colour from charcoal, chalk, earth and even adding blood to create red, the earliest artists were creating art around 40,000 years ago.

The Ancient Egyptians created their own distinctive art using sophisticated hieroglyphics celebrating their gods and the afterlife, while the Renaissance artists of Italy adorned the sacred churches of Florence with classical images of angels and cherubs. A far cry from the angst-ridden howl of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch whose haunting painting of a ghost-like figure The Scream is one of the world’s most iconic works of art.

You’ll find them all, and more, in this whistle-stop tour of the very best in painting, sculpture and photography.

Featuring a host of the world’s best loved works of art from Van Gogh’s
The Starry Night to Turner’s dazzling seascapes and Rodin’s famous pondering philosopher The Thinker, this is a book to pore over and wonder at the stunning talent of artists
through the ages.

Divided into Painting, Sculpture and Photography, each section is set in chronological order to show how new art styles came into vogue and how reflected the era and social mores of the times. As well as double-pages dedicated to different movements, from Early Islamic Art to Realism, Impressionism to Pop Art, there are also pages dedicated to the greatest artists that ever lived from Leonard da Vinci and Rembrandt to Pablo Picasso and Salvator Dali.

A wonderful gift for any art lover that gives a comprehensive history of art and design, filled with interesting facts, and, most importantly, a vast array of beautiful images to inspire!

Fun fact

Some of the most famous prehistoric paintings have been found in southwestern France and northern Spain, deep inside caves where few people would have seen them. This suggests that they were not made for everyday enjoyment. Rather, it is likely that they were used as part of the religious ceremony to bring success in hunting. The handprints left behind by prehistoric artists show that many of them were women.

Did you know? 

Over a career spanning 60 years, JMW Turner became one of the most important landscape painters of the 19th century. He was nicknamed “the painter of light” due to his ability to paint luminous colours and create a powerful sense of atmosphere with oils or watercolours. His watercolours were first exhibited by the Royal Academy in London when he was just 15 years old. By the age of 27, Turner had became the youngest ever full member of the Academy.