What is art and where did it begin?Why do we make it and why does it change? These are some of the many questions that Julian Bell considers in his highly acclaimed book, now available in paperback. Bell, himself a painter, takes a global perspective and uses uses a wide range of objects to set up juxtapositions that will challenge and enlighten the reader: dancing bronze figures from southern India, Romanesque sculptures, Baroque ceilings and jewel-like Persian manuscripts are discussed side by side as testaments to mankind’s universal creative instinct. Highly original in its ideas yet brilliantly straightforward in its prose, this book will appeal to everyone who wants – or needs, for purposes of study, the whole picture of the history of art in one concise and authoritative volume.
Julian Bell is a well-known painter and author. His books include Bonnard and What is Painting?, both published by Thames & Hudson.