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The 12-Hour Art Expert: Everything You Need to Know About Art in a Dozen Masterpieces

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 provides all this: a thorough walk-through of art and its history, trade, collection, display, museum culture, value, interpretation and importance. But all this is presented in a down-to-earth, quirky and personal manner, by one of the world’s best-known art historians. The book breaks down barriers of intimidation and pretense that sometimes hold people back from engaging with art. The format is meant to avoid 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 the sharks in formaldehyde.

This book features 12 chapters that teach readers the complete (though abbreviated) story of art, each one focused on 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. In examining these 12 masterpieces, we come to discuss 12 corresponding concepts and themes important to understanding art, both historically and today, illustrating a turning point or exemplary trend in the history through engaging stories, rather than a list of “-isms.”

This book gives its readers the power to decode a world of masterpieces on their own, teaching as it guides and entertains.

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