100 Best Paintings in London
5” x 9” • 256 pages • full-color throughout
ISBN 9781566566186 (UK ISBN 9781905214068) • paperback • $22.00 •
"An innovative guide... informative and laced with personal enthusiasm... this well-produced guide will be a welcome companion to those seeking out the city's most treasured canvases."
-- Publishers Weekly
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The only book to provide a single volume introduction to the finest art in London.
100 Best Paintings in London is an essential guide to the cream of the great public collection of art in the capital. Each of the 100 chosen paintings is reproduced in full-color with a vivid description that provides both appreciation and analysis and includes fascinating details of why, how and where the picture was painted. A biographical chronology of the artist’s life accompanies each entry together with a listing of works by contemporary painters.
Geoffrey Smith’s illuminating text makes you want to look afresh at favorite paintings and invites you to discover some that are not so familiar. From Duccio and van Eyck to Mark Rothko and Anselm Kiefer, 100 Best Paintings in London covers the complete spectrum of the treasures to be found in the city’s unsurpassed galleries.
Contains descriptions of works from:
The Courtauld Institute • Dulwich Picture Gallery • The Estorick Collection • Kenwood House • The National Gallery • Sir John Soane's Museum • Tate Britain • Tate Modern • The V & A • The Wallace Collection.
Geoffrey Smith is a publisher. He studied art history at the Courtauld Institute in London and has been an enthusiastic gallery visitor for forty years. He now lives with his family in Gloucestershire, England.
"Florence, Venice and Rome have inspired countless books whose goal is to lead visitors through various institutions in search of "must-see" artworks. In this innovative guide, Geoffrey Smith creates a similarly useful work for London, sketching out an itinerary for the Thames-bound lover of painting that includes iconic establishments like the National Gallery and smaller, lesser-known collections like Kenwood House, the out-of-the-way location of Smith's personal choice for London's best painting: Rembrandt's Self-Portrait with Two Circles. Smith, a publisher by profession, isn't trying to shake up prevailing notions of art history. He describes himself as "a committed gallery visitor, an enthusiastic layman," and his brief commentaries on the paintings are informative and laced with personal enthusiasm, offering more than most gallery labels. All major schools and most periods are represented, from Boticelli to David Hockney. Each painting is accompanied by a timeline of the artist's life and a short list of well-known contemporaneous works to give context. This "best of" list won't satisfy everyone, and the publishers have tried to pre-empt an overly disgruntled readership by putting up a website that allows readers to submit their own choices for London's best paintings. One obvious drawback is the absence of more recent works: the youngest paintings in the book, by Anselm Kiefer and David Inshaw, date from the early 1970s. While it offers no inroads into London's active contemporary art scene, this well-produced guide will be a welcome companion to those seeking out the city's most treasured canvases."
-- Publishers Weekly
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