What is art? Why do we value images of saints, kings, goddesses, battles, landscapes or cities from eras of history utterly remote from ourselves? This history of art shows how painters, sculptors and architects have expressed the belief systems of their age: religious, political and aesthetic. From the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece, to the revolutionary years of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the artist has acted as a mirror to the ideals and conflicts of the human mind.
Venice stands, as she loves to tell you, on the frontiers of the east and west, half-way between the setting and the rising sun. Goethe calls her "the market-place of the Morning and the Evening lands". Certainly no city on earth gives a more immediate impression of symmetry and unity, or seems more patently born to greatness.
"A bit soggy around the edges"
Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel are the three great composers of the Baroque era, though there are many other well-known figures, including Albinoni, Pachelbel, and Scarlatti. This engaging introduction, interspersed liberally with music, shows how the works of these composers graced the courts and churches of Europe from 1600 to 1750. It is a fascinating story.
"Very nice... except for some music illustrations"