Interested in art but feel under-informed? Curious but afraid you might not “get” it? Already a fan and wishing to immerse yourself in a fun, engaging, informative and informed read that will refresh and top up your Art History 101 and Introduction to Art courses from college?
The 12-Hour Art Expert: Everything You Need to Know about Art in a Dozen Masterpieces avoids the common approach of throwing hundreds of images at a reader and expecting them to learn from and memorize them all.
Instead, the book will guide its readers through a brief series of masterpieces of Western art—from cave paintings to sharks in formaldehyde. This book twelve chapters teach readers about art, the art trade, and art history in a thorough (though concise) fashion.
Each chapter is linked to one notable masterpiece, with references to others, giving readers a fixed, digestible number of objects that they will get to know in depth, and which they can use as a lens to understand the thousands of other, related objects that they might encounter in the future.
Museums can be daunting, and art presents a strange new language, one that certainly intrigues but is often intimidating and foreign. This book, written by one of the world’s best-known art historians uses entertaining stories to break down intimidating barriers and invites readers of all ages for a one-stop immersion into art.
Noah Charney is an internationally best-selling author of more than a dozen books and a professor of art history specializing in art crime. His novel, The Art Thief, was a bestseller in five countries and is translated into 17 languages. His The Art of Forgery, Stealing the Mystic Lamb and Slovenology were international bestsellers. His book Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Charney is now a professor at University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, where Charney has lived for many years.
List of Figures
1: Art is for All
2: Is It Even Art? Defining Art and the Human Need for Creativity
3: Art as Object and Technique
4: Find Crivelli’s Pickle. Saint Spotting 101, Iconography and the Covert Language of Art
5: The Isms Cheat Sheet in 30 Paintings
6: The “Complete”(ish) History of Sculpture
7: When Bad Things Happen to Good Art: Conservation, Loss and Crime
8: A Digital Light in the Forest: Hi-Tech Art History Reveals Secrets
9: What Would Freud Say? Art, Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience
10: Art and Value: The Art Market, Digitalization and How to Shop for Art
11: Art History as Mystery: New Discoveries (and What Happens When the Experts Get it Wrong)
12: The Future of Art
Notes on Sources
About the Author
This book is -- dare I say it -- a masterpiece. Noah Charney is my favorite guide to the world of fine art. He makes it accessible, fascinating and fun -- and shows us why fine art is still relevant in the age of Tik Tok.
Through 12 chapters, Dr Charney introduces us to the basic terminology, stylistic periods and ways of interpreting fine art from prehistory to the present day. This book introduces readers to the art market, crime, restoration issues, and the myriad errors inevitable in any profession, especially one so subject to interpretation as the study of art. This “handbook” intended for the lay readers is all that and more—it can be an indispensable vade mecum for professionals and even experienced art historians.
The book is a stimulating read and an inspiring contribution to art history mainly because Charney’s view is original, entertaining and brilliantly witty. His knowledge is anchored in a wealth of practical experience, a broad view of the profession and deep reflection. He replays in fascinating ways the various fundamental ideas of art, which he explains in a way easy to follow for today’s reader. Charney skillfully navigates between standard art and pop culture, offers pictorial comparisons between pagan gods and martial arts, Plato and Sci-Fi movies, artists like Michelangelo and Raphael and today’s top athletes and rock stars, compares self-portraits and selfies… He uses an approachable contemporary vocabulary, talking about influencers and six-packs. He also makes excellent arguments with his unmistakable pedagogical gift.
The book challenges the reader to master the basic skills of viewing and understanding fine arts in the shortest time—just twelve hours—how to look, understand and evaluate. The goal is fully achieved. The fresh language and engaging voice will impress even the most demanding reader.
50 color photographs on glossy paper