Divided into two sections – materials and methods – each chapter showcases a single work of art which demonstrates the mastery and innovative use of a single material or method, from oil paint, pastel and pencil, to woodcut, litho and impasto. Each work is presented as the centerpiece of a capsule history, while comparative works are also included to help amplify our understanding.
How, for example, did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel fresco, or Turner become such a master of watercolor? How did Warhol turn so effectively to screen printing, and how does Yayoi Kusama create such beguiling 'infinity rooms'?
The book enhances the experience of looking at great works of art and guides us to a deeper understanding of how they were created and why we regard them as so important.
Debra N. Mancoff received her doctorate in Art History from northwestern University and taught at the Art institute of Chicago. She is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry library in Chicago. She writes for The Art Quarterly, The Royal Academy Magazine and The Art Newspaper and is the author of numerous books on European and American art and culture.