Although this is by no means the first book to reproduce a hundred masterpieces of European art, most of its predecessors have been written by a single author, or else have included little more than basic captions. We decided on a more ambitious approach: to commission specialists to write on each of our selected paintings and artists. Our forty-four contributors are distinguished museum curators or art historians, from institutions which include the National Gallery, Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Courtauld Institute, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Ashmolean Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
Although the majority of paintings will be well known to many readers, our contributors have made revealing observations which illuminate the works. Why, for example, are there four different trees in the landscape of Fra Angelico's 'The Deposition' - a palm, an olive, a cedar and a cypress? Why do we find a cat sitting composedly near St Jerome in Antonello da Messina's magnificent panel, and another leaping with fright in the Virgin's Bedroom in Lotto's retelling of the Annunciation? What is the meaning of the pet monkey in Seurat's Sunday afternoon scene by the river? Why has Stanley Spencer painted St Francis in such an awkward pose, and Picasso depicted a burning victim of the bombing of Guernica with similarly outstretched arms?
Book comes with a slipcase which is in very good condition
Pages are in very good condition, boards are in very good condition
Small markings on white borders of some pages, does not cover text or paintings
Back board has some white paint markings.