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One of the best tools an artist can have is a good reference book. These reference books can be anything from pictures of the past, books about technique or periods of art, or just books with art in them. Most people don’t have the ability to go to an art museum whenever they want to. Even less have the ability to go to a museum with masterpieces in them by famous artists such as DaVinci or Monet. The Phaidon Publishing Company has made a strong effort to create reference books dealing with this type of genre: art.

The Art Book, published by the Phaidon Company, is a wonderful book for artists, or those interested in artistic works, to use when they cannot visit the actual piece of art that they wish to view. The Art Book is full of different works of art by different artists. This book has not only covered a wide variety of artists and used high quality copies of their masterpieces, it also critiques and gives a brief history of the artist and their artwork that is depicted. I chose this book because I believe that it is a wonderful source for any aspiring artist to have, as well as anyone interested in the art world. From reading this book I have learned about different periods of art, ways of creating artwork, artists and their inspiration for creating different works, and the artist’s lives.

The publishers of Phaidon did something very special when creating The Art Book. Instead of offering the book in a "one size fits all" option, they instead printed the book in two ways. The first is a very large book, measuring to be about twenty inches squared. This version of the book is hard bound and the reader can really see the detail of the paintings, sometimes even brush strokes. It is about as close as one can come to seeing the work in a museum. The other version of the book is identical to the fore mentioned book, but is much smaller. This version measures only 6 inches squared and lacks the detail of its larger sister. However, this smaller does have its good points. The smaller version is much easier to carry and is not hardbound. Therefore the smaller version travels much easier whereas the larger version is for those seeking detail. The small version of The Art Book still has a lot of detail, but not as much.

I would recommend The Art Book to anyone interested in art. Although The Art Book does not have a lot of in depth detail, because it covers so many artists and their works, it provides a wonderful overview of art through the ages. The summaries of the artists and their works are easy to understand and although they are brief, they provide adequate information to the reader. The book is not overly long, being only about five hundred pages and each page containing mostly picture, so the reader will not get bored with long explanations and insights. This book is simply the artist’s works with a small overview of the behind the scenes look of the masterpiece. This book is for those interested in art that do not like to read.

I believe that The Art Book is a wonderful book for anyone to read who is trying to learn about a specific artist or work of art. The book is also useful when looking up a piece of art when you don’t know the artist of the piece. Although there are some drawbacks to The Art Book, such as only skimming the surface of works of art and the artists, this book has high quality pictures and relevant information about the pieces depicted. I believe this book is a necessity for anyone interested in the art world.

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