How to Read Art: A Crash Course in Understanding and Interpreting Paintings

This charmingly illustrated, highly informative field guide to understanding art history is small enough to fit in a pocket yet serious enough to provide real answers. This seventh entry in the hugely popular How to Read series is a one-stop guide to understanding the world’s great artworks. The book explains the aesthetics of schools of painting from the Renaissance masters and Impressionists to the Cubists and Modernists. It enables readers to develop swiftly an understanding of the vocabulary of painting and to discover how to look at diverse paintings in detail.In the first part of the book, the author reveals how to read paintings by considering five key areas: shape and support, style and medium, compositional devices, genre, and the meaning of recurring motifs and symbols. The second part explores fifty paintings through extracted details, accompanied by insightful commentary, training the reader and viewer to understand context and discover meaning within art. How to Read Art is the perfect companion for anyone interested in paintings and a book that no art lover’s home should be without.

About The Author

Liz Rideal is an artist and writer. She is a Reader in Fine Art in the Painting Department at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK, and a lecturer and educational resource writer at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA, including two major retrospectives. Her own artwork is held in public collections including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, Yale Center for British Art, the Portland Art Museum and George Eastman House. She is the author of Mirror Mirror: Self-Portraits by Women Artists (2001) and Insights: Self-Portraits (2005).

  • Publish Date: April 14, 2015
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Category: Art - Study & Teaching
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 5-1/4 x 6-1/2
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $18.95
  • CDN Price: $25.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-2916-5