With his book Understand painting, the critic of art Stephen Little recounts more than 700 years of the History of Art in only 160 pages. From the Medieval Age to the Contemporary Art, this book is a perfect introduction to the world of Art .
If the attention paid to the form leaves to be desired, the substance of the book is nevertheless interesting. Stephen Little recalls the origin of Art starting with the Gothic International artistic movement during the Renaissance period. He sheds light on the Baroque, the XIX century and the modern periods, to finally end with the story of the Young British Artists. Every artistic movement is explained and illustrated. For each period, Stephen Little gives the names of the main artists, the related movements (similar and contradictory) and he provides an analysis of two pieces of art.
Understand painting has the effect of a teaser on the reader. We want to discover more about the mythical story behind Venus’ Birth (1478) a Vincent Botticelli’s painting, we want to see Aurora Borealis of Roberto Crippa (1952), and we also want to support Nan Goldin’s battle against battered women (Nan a month after having been battered, 1984). At many occasions, Stephen little makes the reader want to go further. This book represents a smooth first step of an endless journey.