Makingamark's Top 10 Fine Art Books
THE TOP 10 BEST ART BOOKS
This listing of the best selling and top rated fine art books was completely reviewed and revised every single month up until the end of 2012. I identified the relevant art books across various categories of Amazon Art Books (.com and .co.uk) - including books yet to be published - and cross referenced these to other sources of data.
Which is not as easy as it sounds! Plus it took a long time which is why I no longer do it.
2012 saw the introduction of a new set of categories - find out if you know which are the top rated and best selling art books this month for:
* art history
* art business
PLUS the rest of The Best New Art Books - also updated and published each month
NOTE: This listing reflects what other people have wanted to buy and/or rate highly. I have then filtered out all those books which are lightweight and/or which are not for artists (eg doodling, books for kids etc). Amazon.com books are listed below and Amazon.co.uk books are listed in the side column. I've then filtered the lists to extract the best new books relevant to fine art - and the listings have a mid-Atlantic flavour
How this list is compiled each month
NOTE: This listing IN NO WAY REPEATS the listings for different categories for arts and photography on Amazon.com
Do you get confused and lost trying to find the book you want on Amazon?
Are you trying to buy somebody the gift of an art book - but have no idea what's good?
If you are read on!
If you're anything like me you will find that Amazon Book Categories can be INCREDIBLY CONFUSING because
* Books are often listed in multiple and incorrect categories.
* Some categories verge on being completely useless because of the degree of contamination by books which are NOT related to the category.
* The listings are then complicated by all the changes which Amazon keep making to their websites and what they do and don't list.
THIS SITE IS THE SOLUTION TO ALL THOSE WHO LIKE SIMPLE LISTS OF GOOD ART BOOKS!
Books listed on this site are a personal and transatlantic interpretation of listings found on a combination of Amazon.com AND Amazon.co.uk and other book sites sources where ratings and popularity can be identified
They are compiled by:
* focusing on fine art books only (ie excluding all books for children, comics, commercial/graphic artists and photographers)
* reviewing the category lists at Amazon - and which books are included in the category
* ignoring all books which in my view are inappropriately categorised (and there can be more than just a few of those)
* ignoring all the books which in my view are lightweight and/or for kids or comic artists and/of no interest to fine artists
* identifying the best selling book in the chosen categories
* identifying the top rated book in the chosen categories
* only listing a book once - in whichever category they rank highest
* reviewing the listings monthly and updating in each category as appropriate
While I take a lead from Amazon - while ignoring its somewhat crazy categorisation of books - I also look at what evidence I can glean from other sources. What that all means is that this listing is NOT a replica of the top books list on Amazon - in a good way!.
In 2012 I'm using five categories as follows:
* Drawing Books - This category is about books about fine art drawing for artists and those wanting to learn how to draw. It excludes drawing books for children, fantasy/comic art and applied books for commercial artists and animators
* Painting Books - This category is about books about fine art painting for artists and those wanting to learn how to paint or improve their painting. It excludes painting books for children and applied books for commercial artists
* Artists - This category is about books which are about fine artists (typically draughtsmen, painters, printmakers, sculptors) - from any movement, period or style. It excludes books for children and about fantasy artists, illustrators and graphic and commercial artists.
* Art History - This category typically covers the overviews of the history of art and museum exhibitions which are not just about one artist
* Art Business - This category includes practical aspects of the business of art for artists and collectors and stories about people in the art business.
Finally there is another supplementary listing of The Top 10 NEW Art Books just published or about to be published. These were published last month or are due to be published - and include good books which might not reach the "best seller" or "top rated" for the listed categories
Also listed after each category are top rated books from previous months. Some categories generate more "churn" than others hence the different number of books listed.
*** TOP DRAWING BOOKS ***
This category is about books about fine art drawing for artists and those wanting to learn how to draw.
It excludes drawing books for children, fantasy/comic art and applied books for commercial artists which are niche categories
Andrew Loomis Books get the 'in the window" treatment
This is a photograph I took in the summer of Andrew Loomis books in the window of Foyles Bookstore on Charing Cross Road - it's one of the biggest books shops in London.
DRAWING - Top Rated Drawing Book in APRIL 2013 - Figure Drawing for All It's Worth
"Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" is an extraordinarily popular book by Andrew Loomis. It's one of a series of drawing instruction books which have been republished in a facsimile edition. This one was republished in May 2011 and has been a top rated book ever since!
It currently rates 4.9 out of 5 stars following 69 customer reviews
The demand for these books came because second hand copies were really difficult to locate and acquire - they had all been out of print for decades. However all those that had used his books rated them very highly. In effect the books became like gold dust - very valuable but very difficult to pin down! Hence ways to share the books which could be located had to be found. Friends would share - but only with very trusted friends as it was important not to lose the book. Websites also sprang up to share the contents online.
Now there is a facsimile copy in print - and we can all own one of the most sought after books about drawing!
It goes without saying that a facsimile edition of a book which has been through four editions and was first published several decades ago does NOT look like one which is published today.
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars by 48 customer reviews) on Amazon | Like (391)Goodreads: 4.13 out of 5 stars (1,549 ratings)
DRAWING - Best Selling Drawing Book in APRIL 2013 - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition
This is the NEW and 4th edition of probably the most popular drawing book for adults that has ever been published. This book is a standard text for beginners and improvers and has been consistently either the best-selling and/or the top-rated drawing instruction book on Amazon for the last 33 years.
I've got editions #2 and #3 (read my review of the last edition) but that didn't stop me going out and buying the fourth edition earlier this year!
4th Edition: Amazon: 4.8 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews. It's also currently #1 in the top selling books about Drawing on Amazon (April 2013)
Goodreads: 4.50 avg rating - 12 ratings - published 2012 (These are ratings for the latest of the 4 editions)
Facts about this book:
* 1.7 MILLION people all over the world have bought this book since it was first published. It's been translated into 17+ languages
* First published in 1979.
* The only drawing book I've ever known which stayed in the New York Times Best Seller lists for over a year
* Each subsequent update has introduced material developed as a result of drawing workshops
* Second edition in 1989 went back into the NYT Best Seller List after revisions by Betty Edwards
* Third edition in 1999: The 20th anniversary edition spent nearly 2,000 days in the top 100 books (Arts & Photography) on Amazon and consistently topped the TOP 10 BESTSELLING BOOKS ABOUT DRAWING ON AMAZON
* Fourth Edition - published April 2012 by Tarcher/Penguin - currently ranked #1 in Drawing Bestsellers
It's worth noting the current author's opinion that the book is essentially about 'perception' ie how to see properly so you can record accurately rather than about art per se. I certainly subscribe to the notion that learning how to see is a fundamental step to learning how to draw properly.
Reading level: Ages 18 and upPaperback: 320 pagesPublisher: Tarcher; 4 edition (April 26, 2012)
Best Drawing Books - in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - all these books have been best selling or top rated
There's intense and stiff competition to become the top rated or best selling drawing book on Amazon. However there are very few books which get to the top and the turnover is between just a few books.
Those that have made it to the top in the past also tend to stay in the top 100 art books on Amazon for a long time while newcomers often sink without a trace.
SEE THE BEST BOOKS ABOUT DRAWING AND SKETCHING FOR A COMPLETE RANGE OF BOOKS ABOUT:
* HOW TO DRAW
* DEVELOPING YOUR DRAWING SKILLS and learn about drawing at an advanced level
* LEARN ABOUT THE MASTERS OF DRAWING through the ages
TOP RATED DRAWING BOOK THROUGHOUT 2010An Illustrated Life offers a sneak peek into the wildly creative imaginations of top illustrators, designers and artists from around the world through the pages of their personal visual journals. Popular visual journalist and author Danny Gregory reveals how and why keeping a consistent, visual journal leads to a more fulfilling creative life. Designers and artists working in all mediums will find creative inspiration from these insightful interviews and stunning examples.
BEST SELLING IN JULY, SEPTEMBER and NOVEMBER 2010Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists offers readers a fun way to learn and gain expertise in drawing through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, yet, the readers gain new skills and confidence, allowing them to take their work to a new level.Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume.
TOP RATED DRAWING BOOK IN JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH and APRIL 2011 This book was top rated drawing book for four months running4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (95 customer reviews)Read my review of this book in Book Review: Colored Pencil Painting Bible
TOP RATED BOOK IN AUGUST 2011 and NOVEMBER 2012;BEST SELLING IN OCTOBER 2011Amazon reviews - 4.9 out of 5 stars (48 customer reviews) | Like (391)It's currently in the top ten "most gifted" drawing books on Amazon (November 2012)Goodreads - avg rating 4.56 - 112 ratings 11 reviewsFigure Drawing was first published in 1943. This book is the first in a series of facsimile editions of his classic titles about how to draw people - available for the first time in a very long time. Its publications has been received with much enthusiasm by those who have been trying to track it down for years.RECOMMENDED - This is a highly rated title. Purchasers need to be aware this is a facsimile edition of a 1943 book.
BEST SELLING IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 201134 days in the top 100 Art Books on AmazonAmazon reviews - 4.8 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews) | Like (53)Drawing the Head and Hands is the second in Titan's programme of facsimile editions, returning these classic titles to print for the first time in decadesRECOMMENDED - This is a highly rated title. Purchasers need to be aware this is a facsimile edition of an old book.
*** TOP PAINTING BOOKS ***
This category is about books which are about fine art painting for artists and those wanting to learn how to paint or improve their painting.
It excludes the niche categories of painting books for children and applied books for commercial artists
PAINTING - Top Rated Painting Book in APRIL 2013 - Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney is also the top rated book about painting - but since I don't allow a book to head both sections we need to move on and look at #2 - which is yet another book by the very popular and very knowledgeable Mr Gurney - Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist!
Amazon.com reviews: 4.9 out of 5 stars by 98 customer reviews
Amazon UK reviews: 4.9 out of 5 stars by 14 customer reviews
#5 in Books > Arts & Photography > Painting
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2009 / TOP RATED for several months and periodically since
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Read my Book Review - Imaginative Realism by James Gurney
On publication this book became the #1 art instruction book on Amazon. The reason being that this book sets a very high standard for all art instruction books as it is jam packed full of useful content which is both very accessible and highly informative.
The bias is towards Gurney's normal fantasy art subject matter but the principles are applicable to all painters who create works which involve some element of imagined realism.
Paperback: 320 pagesPublisher: Quarry Books (February 1, 2012)Publisher's description: With sketches and observations from more than 50 cities in more than 30 countries, The Art of Urban Sketching offers a visually arresting, storytelling take on urban life from different cultures and artistic styles, as well as insight into various drawing techniques and mediums.
Top Rated Painting Books - in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - all these books have been top rated
These books were all top rated on Amazon at some point in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It's not a huge list as it's very difficult category to excel in and those which are good are very good!
The category is defined by how many reviews you've got. I've noted that it's increasingly it's the authors with a following - either through a profile on the Internet or through online teaching or through a programme of workshops - who are able to generate ratings by their loyal fans. Mind you - you have to be good to generate that sort of fan behaviour!
Realistically an author who doesn't have some sort of fan following - through workshops or the internet - has very little chance of being top rated.
This has been the top rated book in Painting for most of the last two years as well as achieving top rated status before it was even published due to reviews of pre-publication copies.Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars in 87 customer reviews on Amazon | Like (357)Currently ranked #2 in the top 10 books about painting ordered as giftsHIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. READ my detailed review of this book Book Review: Color and Light by James GurneySummary review: - This is a book for students and improvers and all those who want to know more about colour and how light and colour interact - in life and in a painting. Practical application of the lessons learned is made possible through a very accessible text coupled with excellent use of images and graphics. Coverage of this topic is comprehensive.I've not come across any other book which covers this topic in such breath and depth and makes it accessible as well.
TOP RATED IN MAY, JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER & NOVEMBER 2010 and JANUARY 2011Amazon: Rates 60 5 star reviewsGoodreads: 4.86 of 5 stars (7 ratings)I've now bought a copy of this book having marvelled for months as to why it keeps topping the poll. I can now see why. However I've not written my review yet so what follows is an edited version of the publisher's description.It's billed as "A Treasury of Landscape Painting Tricks and Techniques Discovered Through Years of Painting and Experimentation"This book provides artists with the knowledge they need to paint watercolor landscapes. Painting with watercolours gives you endless opportunities to create the world of your choosing. It's not only a matter of what to paint, but how you go about painting it.Gordon MacKenzie explores in this book the three most important elements of landscape painting: water, sky and land. He encourages you to try numerous ways of painting each of these, and then choose the methods that best express how the outdoors speaks to you.This is a reliable collection of tips, techniques, ideas and lessons for achieving accomplished watercolour landscapes.
PUBLISHED MARCH 2009: This is the first book by award-winning artist Alyona Nickelsen.Read my review of this book in Book Review: Colored Pencil Painting Biblea>In her book Alyona reveals her techniques and processes for achieving intense colour in her coloured pencil paintings. These include layering, the proper use and advantages of the translucent properties of the medium, as well as her use of odorless solvents to achieve rich, luminous color and ultra-realistic effects - all backed up with highly detailed step-by-step demonstrations.
PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2012 THIS BOOK SOLD OUT IN 4 WEEKS.THE SECOND REPRINT ALSO SOLD OUT WITHIN IN WEEKS IN USA.It's proved to be so popular that its sales and ranking are only limited by how fast this book can be printed!Top Rated Painting Book in NOVEMBER 2012Amazon reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars by 54 customer reviewsCurrently:#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > Other Media > Graffiti & Street Art#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > History & Criticism > Themes > Landscapes & Seascapes#2 in Books > Arts & Photography > Painting > AcrylicsAmazon UK reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews) Like (32)This book by Urban Sketchers has previously featured in the list of best selling drawings books - however a lot of the artists who demonstrate their sketching in this book are painting!This was the Best New Art Book - period - in the first half of 2012. At the end of January - prior to publication - it had secured the #10 spot in the top 100 books in the Arts and Design Category on Amazon(which now includes music) - on the strength of pre-orders alone. Even while out of stock it was maintaining a top ten position in Amazon categories for painting, drawing and other media on the strength of the orders being placedCongratulations are due to the 100 Urban Sketchers (Urban Sketchers) who participated in its production
PAINTING - Best Selling Book in APRIL 2013 - Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter
2.5 YEARS AFTER PUBLICATION & STILL AT THE TOP OF THE LIST OF BEST SELLING BOOKS FOR SERIOUS PAINTERS
This book ranked #1 BEST SELLER in the Top 100 Painting Books - BEFORE it was published in November 2010 on the strength of pre-publication sales - it has now pretty much stayed at or very near the top ever since.
Also the TOP RATED Book in August-October 2011 and January-March 2012 and #2 in November and December 2011.
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars in 121 customer reviews on Amazon - It consistently earns more and more 5 star ratings on Amazon.
#2 in Books > Arts & Photography > Painting
Currently ranked #2 in the top 10 books about painting ordered as gifts
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. READ my detailed review of this book Book Review: Color and Light by James Gurney
Summary review: - This is a book for students and improvers and all those who want to know more about colour and how light and colour interact - in life and in a painting. Practical application of the lessons learned is made possible through a very accessible text coupled with excellent use of images and graphics. Coverage of this topic is comprehensive.
The key reasons this book is highly recommended by me are:
I've not come across any other book which covers this topic in such breath and depth and makes it accessible as well.
* I've got ones which are more technical - but they're much less accessible.
* I've got ones which are as accessible - but they don't cover as much as he does
The major plus point about this book is that it is comprehensive and accessible art instruction of a very high order.
* It does not attempt to dumb down or omit important aspects of the way in which colour and light function and interact.
* It articulates very clearly how you can make choices about how to use different features of colour and light in a painting.
I am so confident about the impact of this book that I am happy to predict that if you buy and study this book your paintings will improve.
Paperback: 224 pagesPublisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (November 30, 2010)
Best Painting Books - in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - all these books have been best selling
Best selling books in this category tend to turn over at very regular intervals - presumably due to the marketing effort on publication. The same cannot be said for the top rated books
A somewhat surprising entry - but a book which is a standard and has been around for a very long time. Now issued in a Kindle edition for a new audience
A book which topped the MOST GIFTED and MOST WISHED FOR landscape painting book categories.Read my review Book Review: Landscape Painting by Mitchell AlbalaSummary review: This book will become a new classic manual of landscape art.It takes the core concepts and skills required of those creating any type of representational art and interprets and relates how these apply and work within the context of landscape art. It's an in-depth guide produced by somebody who is an experienced educator. It's written and designed by somebody who is an excellent communicator. It deserves a place on the bookshelf of everybody who takes landscape art seriously - whether they paint plein air or in the studio.
The aim of Portrait Painting Atelier is comprehensive coverage of the concepts and techniques of traditional portraiture. It demonstrates the Old Masters' technique of layering paint over a toned-ground surface, a process that builds from the transparent dark areas to the more densely painted lights. This method unifies the entire painting, illuminates skin tones and softly blends all the color tones. Readers will also find instruction in paint mediums from classic oil-based to alkyd-based, the interactive principles of composition and photograph-based composition, and the anatomy of the human face and the key relationships among its features.Richly illustrated with the work of preeminent masters such as Millet, Gricault, and van Gogh, as well as some of today's leading portrait artists. It also features seven detailed step-by-step portrait demonstrations
Product Description: As fascinating as a real visit to the world's famous museums and architectural sites, GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES: THE WESTERN PERSPECTIVE gives you a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated tour of the world's great artistic traditions--plus all the study tools you need to excel in your art history course!Easy to read and understand, this 13th Edition of the most widely read history of art book in the English language is the only textbook that includes a unique "scale" feature (accompanying the book's photographs of paintings and other artworks) that will help you better visualize the actual size of the artworks shown in the book.Three levels of review including extended image captions, "The Big Picture" overviews at the end of every chapter, and a special global timeline will help you study for your exams. You'll also find materials that will help you master the key topics quickly in the ArtStudy Online (a free interactive study guide that includes flash cards of images and quizzes).
Acrylic is often used as a substitute for oil paint or watercolor, but the real gold mine is in allowing the medium freedom to do what it does best. This book shows how today's artists are doing exactly that. It's loaded with original artwork and valuable insight from 64 artists, incredibly diverse in styles and subjects, each using acrylic in unique ways to create expressive and personal art.* 64 artists offer their individual ideas, approaches and inspirations for working with acrylic paints* 29 styles, ranging from photorealism to minimal color field and everything in between, are explored through artist profiles, artwork and boundary-breaking "challenges" that provide dynamic starting points for your own art* 29 step-by-step demonstrations illustrate acrylic-driven techniques you can take straight to your work, including collage and assemblage, reverse painting, printmaking, accidental stenciling, working with metallic mixtures and moreA follow-up to the best-selling Acrylic Revolution, Acrylic Innovation takes you outside your comfort zone. Dip in whenever you feel the urge to experiment, have fun and see fresh and exciting results.
***TOP BOOKS ABOUT ARTISTS***
This category is about artists - past and present.
In 2011, I "retired" 'Wall and Piece' by Banksy despite being top rated artists and a best selling book. Otherwise we'd never get to hear about the rest of the contenders!
ARTISTS: Top Rated Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
Kurt Wenner gave up producing advanced scientific space illustrations for NASA to pursue his love of classical art and the development of 3D pavement art - initially in Rome. He subsequently travelled around the world painting pavements with his amazing pictures
This book is about his street painting and anamorphic perspective and the creation of his amazing 3D images
Paperback: 304 pagesPublisher: Sterling Signature (August 2, 2011)
Top Rated Books about Artists - in 2010 and 2011
TOP RATED ARTIST/ART HISTORY BOOK JULY-DECEMBER 2011; January-march 2012Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars (105 customer reviews) | Like (117)This has been both the best selling and top rated book for a VERY VERY long time.So much so it has now been "retired" from the list! (see blog post in February 2011)
TOP RATED (PAINTING) OCTOBER 2011Paperback: 444 pagesPublisher: Firefly Books (October 20, 2011)Amazon Reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews) | Like (0)Now in paperback, The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson is even more affordable than the celebrated original hardcover edition. This award-winning bestseller includes many never-before reproduced paintings and presents the most complete and extensive collection of these artists' works ever published. The 400 paintings and drawings reveal the remarkable genius of all 10 painters who, at some point, were part of the movement. Tom Thomson, who died before the Group was established, was always present in the public mind.The artwork is organized by the various regions of Canada, with additional sections on the war years and still-life paintings. Introductory essays provide a context for a greater understanding and appreciation of Canada's most celebrated artists.
TOP RATED IN MARCH 2011Amazon: 47 customer ratings on amazon.com of which 39 are 5 starsGoodreads: 82 ratings and 12 reviews with an average rating of 4.37Google Books - 23 reviews rated 4 stars/This book examines the artistic creations which manipulate space and perspective in such a way that an optical illusion is created. We have to keep looking to work out how optical trick works. The book focuses on key pieces by different artists and includes the very famous waterfall image created by Escher
ARTISTS - Best Selling Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - Cezanne: A Life
This book is a comprehensive biography of the life and career of Cezanne and is the first such book for some time. It is a major work of research and scholarship as he tells the story of an artist who was both unknown and famous and who was never part of the 'in crowd'
Paintings are reproduced in 88 colour and 52 black-and-white illustrations
Reviews to date suggest that this book has been favourably received
Hardcover: 512 pagesPublisher: Pantheon (October 23, 2012)
ARTISTS: Best Selling Books in 2011 and 2012
BEST SELLING PAINTING BOOK IN SEPTEMBER 2011Hardcover: 504 pagesPublisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York (September 30, 2011)Amazon reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews) | Like (32)52 days in the top 100 Art Books on AmazonA new book about De Kooning became a best seller in September and it held a top position in the Art Top 100 by the end of the month. Published in conjunction with the first large-scale, multi-medium, posthumous retrospective of Willem de Kooning's career, this publication offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the development of the artist's work as it unfolded over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. The volume presents approximately 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, covering the full diversity of de Kooning's art and placing his many masterpieces in the context of a complex and fascinating pictorial practice.
BEST SELLING PAINTING BOOK IN OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2011Hardcover: 976 pagesPublisher: Random House (October 18, 2011)Amazon reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars (33 customer reviews) | Like (107)50 days in the top 100 Arts & Photography Books on Amazon - peaking at #2 on the list"Van Gogh: The Life" is a very big book (some 900-plus pages) and is the product of exhaustive research about the biographical detail of Van Gogh's life. It has been accompanied by a very high profile marketing campaign which has slightly "over-egged" it judging by the reviews which are available. It's good but contains rather fewer surprises than the publishers would have us believe.
BEST SELLING - ARTISTSHardcover: 120 pagesPublisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (September 1, 1990)4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews) | Like (16)Amazon: 62 customer reviews of which 56 are 5 starsProduct description: Using a seemingly endless range of natural materials, Goldsworthy creates sculpture in the open that manifests a sympathetic contact with the natural world. 120 full-color photographs.
EST SELLING ART BOOK MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS - JANUARY 2012BEST SELLING ARTISTS - JANUARY 2012This is the catalogue of the the major exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan' at the National Gallery, London: 9 November 2011 - 5 February 2012. This proved impossible to see for most people - including me. I even wrote a post just about the queue.
*** TOP BOOKS ABOUT ART HISTORY ***
This category is about books which are about art history and fine artists - from any movement, period or style.
It excludes books for children and about commercial artists or animators.
In 2011, I "retired" 'Wall and Piece' by Banksy despite being top and a best seller. Otherwise we'd never get to hear about the rest of the contenders! In 2012, I did the same for 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' by Edmund de Waal
ART HISTORY: Top Rated Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - The Louvre: All the Paintings
This was a best selling and top rated book in 2011 and early 2012. It's now back as both a best seller and the top rated art history book in November 2012
Amazon ratings: 4.1 out of 5 stars (67 customer reviews) | Like (87)
#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > Collections, Catalogs & Exhibitions
The book catalogues and reproduces all 3,022 paintings on display in the permanent painting collection of the Louvre. They are reproduced in full color in this very large slipcased book. Note however that there have been significant criticisms of the DVD which should present large images and instead produces thumbnail size images.
Hardcover: 784 pagesPublisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Har/Dvdr edition (November 15, 2011)
Top Rated Books about Art History 2011
Some classic overviews of art history
TOP RATED ARTIST/ART HISTORY BOOK FEBRUARY AND APRIL 2011Amazon: 50 customer ratings on amazon.com of which 46 are 5 starsGoodreads: 689 ratings and 63 reviews with an average rating of 4.25Google Books - 72 reviewsProduct Description: The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over four decades. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject.For the first time in many years the book has been completely redesigned. The illustrations, now in colour throughout, have all been improved and reoriginated, and include six fold-outs. The text has been revised and updated where appropriate, and a number of new artists have been incorporated. The bibliographies have been expanded and updated, and the maps and charts redrawn. The Story of Art has always been admired for two key qualities: it is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to handle.
This is the first book to offer a balanced appraisal of world art history, revealing the huge diversity of and similarity between man's artistic achievements. It's also an accessible, fun and informative compendium of world art that offers a fresh perspective on the whole of art history, from 28,000 BC to the present day. It debunks art historical classifications and hierarchies by presenting 1,000 masterworks of art in simple chronological order, demonstrating what was being created all over the globe at the same time.A comprehensive index, illustrated timelines, and a glossary of terms and movements make this book an invaluable reference tool and teaching resource.
TOP RATED SEPTEMBER 2011Amazon: 4.8 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews) | Like (3)Goodreads: 3.75 out of 5 (20 ratings 1 review)Throughout the previous seven editions, this text has earned a reputation for elegance and the highest standards of quality. Living with Art helps students develop an appreciation of art by offering a clear and comprehensive introduction to the visual arts from several perspectives: themes and purposes of art; the vocabulary of art; individual art media (painting, drawing, camera arts, sculpture, architecture, etc.); and the history of art.The latter half sets out a brief but comprehensive history of art, leading students to understand art within the context of its time and place of origin.High quality images from a wide range of periods and cultures bring the art to life, and topical essays throughout the text foster critical thinking skills. The book is rich with illustrations drawn from a wide range of artistic cultures and time periods
TOP RATED ART HISTORY BOOK IN JANUARY 2012 and BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN NOVEMBER 2011Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars (50 customer reviews) | Like (2)51 days in the top 100 Arts & Photography Books on AmazonRead the review in the Wall Street JournalThis is a unique book, endorsed by and produced in co-operation with the Louvre. For the first time ever, you can now see every painting from the world's most popular museum in one amazing book. The 3,022 paintings on display in the permanent painting collection of the Louvre are presented in full color in this striking, slipcased book.
ART HISTORY - Best Selling Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - Leonardo and the Last Supper
Ross King has previously achieved accaim for his books Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and has achieved a status that now people will buy a book by him simply because he has written it.
This time King turns his attention to Leonardo and the Last Supper (doesn't that title suggest this was a book just waiting to be written?!) The book has generated many very complimentary reviews in the press
Amazon reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews) | Like (10)
Before he started to paint this painting which is 15' high x 30' wide, Leonardo had never worked on a painting of this size and had no experience of fesco painting! Plus his career had not been going well and he was now aged 43. Nevertheless he painted it - and the rest, as they say, is history!
Ross King is brilliant at research and bringing out the stories within a story - and this book is as much a portrait of a painting as it is a story about a man who turned his career around
I've not yet bought this book - which was published last month - but I'm going to
Hardcover: 352 pagesPublisher: Walker & Company; 1 edition (October 30, 2012)
Best Selling Books about Art History in 2010 and 2011
Best selling books in this category tend to turn over at regular intervals. The same cannot be said for the top rated books.
I should mention that I have "retired" Banksy's Wall and Piece from competition (see below) to give the others a chance! However you will still find it listed below and it is still the top rated book and a best seller in this category. It's a category 'thing'!
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2010 and MARCH, APRIL, MAY-OCTOBER 2011TOP RATED NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2011Amazon rated one of 10 best books in Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010;188 days in the top 100 Art Books in USA383 days in the top 100 Art books in the UKUSA: 4.5 out of 5 stars (71 reviews) | Like (37)UK: 4.1 out of 5 stars (170 reviews)Goodreads 3.97 avg rating - 1,021 ratings 311 reviewsAbout the author: Edmund de Waal is the Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster and lives in London with his family. His own porcelain has been displayed around the world.
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN JULY 2010Amazon: 57 customer reviews of which 41 are 5 starsProduct description: This second edition of Carol Strickland's The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern offers an illustrated tutorial of prehistoric to post-modern art from cave paintings to video art installations to digital and Internet media.
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN AUGUST 2010Amazon: 12 customer reviews of which 10 are 5 starProduct description: This book gives you a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated tour of the world's great artistic traditions--plus all the study tools you need to excel in your art history course! Easy to read and understand, this 13th Edition of the most widely read history of art book in the English language is the only textbook that includes a unique "scale" feature (accompanying the book's photographs of paintings and other artworks) that will help you better visualize the actual size of the artworks shown in the book.
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN JANUARY 2011Amazon: 20 customer reviews of which 13 are 5 starsART HISTORY provides the reader with the most student-friendly, contextual, and inclusive art history survey on the market. Like its predecessors, this new edition seeks to balance formal and iconographic analysis with contextual art history in order to craft interpretations that will engage a diverse student population. Throughout the text, the visual arts are treated as part of a larger world, in which geography, politics, religion, economics, philosophy, social life, and the other fine arts are related components of a vibrant and cultural landscape.
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN FEBRUARY 2011Amazon 43 customer reviews of which 17 are 5 starGoodreads 4.01 avg rating - 2,040 ratings"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak""It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."Based on the 1972 BC Television Series and first published in 1972. John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" has proved to be one of the most seminal, stimulating and influential books on art in any language. It continues to be popular and to sell well - not least to students who find it on their reading lists."This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings ...he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures. Sunday Times art critic
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN NOVEMBER 2011Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews) | Like (37)51 days in the top 100 Arts & Photography Books on AmazonThis is a unique book, endorsed by and produced in co-operation with the Louvre. For the first time ever, you can now see every painting from the world's most popular museum in one amazing book. The 3,022 paintings on display in the permanent painting collection of the Louvre are presented in full color in this striking, slipcased book. It's impossible when visiting the Louvre to get all the way round and see everything properly. It's doubtful if you would succeed if you stayed in Paris for a few days. This book allows you to see the permanent collection which is on display without the travel and hotel costs!The book was designed for ease of use. It comes with an enclosed, supportive DVD-ROM. In about nine to 12 months, there will be an app for the iPad and iPhone that includes audio and visual narratives of the paintings.Read the review in the Wall Street JournalHardcover: 784 pagesPublisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Har/Dvdr edition (November 15, 2011)
BEST SELLING ART HISTORY BOOK IN DECEMBER 2011355 days in the top 100#17 IN THE TOP 100 in December 2011Amazon reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews) | Like (5)Paperback: 592 pagesPublisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 9 edition (October 13, 2009)This is the ninth edition of a book which remains popular. It's not a new book so the sudden resurgence in popularity is presumably down to it being a recommended book for an art course (but I'm guessing! It could be that a few sales would have an impact given its price). I've not yet seen this book in the UK however it is available from independent booksellers in the UK however prices suggest it might be cheaper to buy in the USA and ship over! It's probably the sort of book you want to go and take a gander at in the library before making a commitment as it's not cheap.Publisher's description: "Living with Art provides the tools to help students think critically about the visual arts. Using a wealth of examples, the first half of the text examines the nature, vocabulary, and elements of art, offering a foundation for students to learn to analyze art effectively. The latter half sets out a brief but comprehensive history of art, leading students to understand art within the context of its time and place of origin. High quality images from a wide range of periods and cultures bring the art to life, and topical essays throughout the text foster critical thinking skills.Taken together, all of these elements help students to better appreciate art as a reflection of the human experience and to realize that living with art is living with ourselves".
*** TOP BUSINESS BOOKS FOR ARTISTS ***
This category includes practical aspects of the business of art for artists and collectors and stories about people in the art business.
It excludes books which specifically target commercial and graphic artists alone
THE ART BUSINESS: Top Rated Art Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion
TOP RATED ART BUSINESS BOOK DECEMBER 2011, MARCH 2011; FEBRUARY and MAY 2012
Amazon ratings: 4.9 out of 5 stars (108 customer reviews) | Like (35)
Goodreads: Avg rating 5.00 (3 ratings)
I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion offers practical approaches that help to sell more art and build an art career that lasts. It shares self-promotion tools that have enhanced the careers of thousands of artists.
You'll learn how to:
(1) Introduce yourself as an artist so people want to know more;
(2) Nail your artist statement to discover the right words for all of your marketing messages;
(3) Expand your mailing list and use it to cultivate collectors;
(4) Create marketing materials that outshine the competition;
(5) Become a media magnet so buyers come to you;
(6) Take advantage of your Web site and blog to build a bigger audience; and much more.
Alyson B Stanfield is an art marketing coach who has a very popular blog - the ArtBizBlog and online tuition business (ArtBizCoach.com).
Paperback: 279 pagesPublisher: Pentas Press; Second Edition: Updated & Expanded edition (April 22, 2011)#16 in Books > Arts & Photography > Business of Art
THE ART BUSINESS - Best Selling Art Book in NOVEMBER 2012 - 2013 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Art
This is a book which is produced on annual basis and it's published in November. It changes some of its content every year and thus generates repeat buys which generate good sales every year - particularly in the run-up to Christmas.
Amazon reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews) | Like (9)
#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > Business of Art
Check out the Table of Contents on the "Look Inside" on Amazon to see if it fits the bill for you. The writing is accessible and sticks to what you need to know without any "flummery"
NEW this year:
* Articles on strategic planning, strengthening a business, budgets, negotiating contracts and applying for grants
* Special features on writing for artists, communicating with clients, hanging a solo show and achieving work-life balance
* Interviews with successful professionals
Paperback: 672 pagesPublisher: North Light Books; 38 edition (November 14, 2012)
More Best Books about Art Business - these are the best books from 2010, 2011 and 2012
Check out these books - and all the other new art business books in The Best Art Business Books - see above
BEST SELLING ART BUSINESS BOOK IN FEBRUARY and MARCH 2011TOP RATED ART BUSINESS BOOK MARCH, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2011This book has been hovering near the top spot for some time. However its reviews have picked up and it achieved the top rated position in February 2011 in anticipation of the second edition published in April 20115.0 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
A handbook for how to teach the business side of art to artists.Product description: Why teach professional practices? Far too often artists find themselves having to compromise their art and their life because they were not taught accurate up-to-date methods for dealing with business situations. Because of this lack of preparedness artists miss out on valuable opportunities, financial rewards, and access to receptive audiences. This book aims to help all artists everywhere avoid these pitfalls and get on the track to success on their own terms.This book guides you through how to teach professional practices to artists of all ages, from all backgrounds, working in all media. Complete with syllabi, lesson plans, resources, class assignments and group activities, this book is all you need to teach a successful class on how to build and maintain a thriving art practice.
Product description (abbreviated): An essential guide for filmmakers, musicians, writers, artists, and other creative types. "Fans, Friends & Followers" explores the strategies for cultivating an online fan base that can support your creative career, enabling you to do the work you want to do and make a living at it.
Product description (abbreviated): The Wall Street Journal called him "a living legend." The London Times dubbed him "the most famous art detective in the world." In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.
This is a biography and portrait of a gallerist and his beginnings. Reviews suggest that some may find the biographical detail tiresome and regret there's not more contributions from the artists - but there's a very practical reason why that's not the case.Product description (abbreviated): Leo Castelli reigned for decades as America's most influential art dealer. After emigrating to New York in 1941, Castelli would not open a gallery for sixteen years, when he had reached the age of fifty. But as the first to exhibit the then-unknown Jasper Johns, Castelli emerged as a tastemaker overnight and fast came to champion a virtual Who's Who of twentieth-century masters: Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Twombly, to name a few.
BEST SELLING ART BUSINESS BOOK IN MARCH, APRIL & DECEMBER 2011 AND JANUARY 2012Amazon ratings: 4.1 out of 5 stars (45 customer reviews) | Like (2)Goodreads: rated 3.58 avg rating - 1,879 ratings - published 2008 - 16 editionsGoogle Books: 239 ReviewsThis one must have sold very well as a gift at Christmas in 2011
TOP RATED ART BUSINESS BOOK JANUARY, JULY 2011Amazon ratings: 4.7 out of 5 stars (20 customer reviews - which are much more thorough than the ones on GoodReads)Goodreads: average of 4.00 from 19 ratings and 4 reviews (some low ratings with no explanations - which is odd)The variation in ratings suggests variations in expectations
BEST SELLING ART BUSINESS BOOK SEPTEMBER 2011Amazon Bestsellers #4 in Books > Arts & Photography > Business of ArtAmazon ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars (63 customer reviews) | Like (4)Goodreads: 3.86 (70 ratings / 11 reviews)This is the sixth edition of a classic handbook and guide to taking control of your career and making and sustaining a good living in the art world. The New York Times said it "explodes the romantic notion of the starving artist," (The New York Times)This new edition has a brand-new chapter on "Art Marketing on the Internet." and a new section on digital printmaking. Michels offers criteria for selecting an ideal Web designer for your online portfolio and for organizing your Web presence, and shares proven methods for attracting curators, dealers, and private clients to your site. She also addresses vital legal concerns in the age of e-commerceThe core book provides an insider's information on getting into a gallery, being your own PR agent, and negotiating prices, as well as innovative marketing, exhibition, and sales opportunities for various artistic disciplines. The Artist Help Network (www.artisthelpnetwork.com) has also been fully revised.
BEST SELLING ART BUSINESS BOOK OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2011 and MARCH 2012Publication Date: November 11, 2011#2 in Books > Arts & Photography > Business of Art (Amazon)Amazon ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews) | Like (18)This is a book which starts selling as soon as its annual publication is announced. However oddly enough it doesn't seem to generate many reviews or ratings. Each edition has to generate chunky new content to get sales - this time it focuses on selling more art. If you're not bothered about being completely up to date you can pick up last year's edition second hand for virtually nothing!2012 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market is the must-have reference guide for emerging artists, who want to establish a successful career in fine art, illustration, cartooning or graphic design.It's used by artists to find new markets and navigate the changing business landscape. For 2012 new features include:* articles on selling more art in 2012, secrets to social media success, pocket-sized promotion, creating an online presence, fine-tuning your sales pitch and generating referrals* Informative articles on getting the most from workshops, handling problems creatively, applying creative thinking to running your business and managing your clients
Interestingly this book went from Top Rated to #78 in Art Business Books inside a month. This is very suggestive of a book which had had its status artificially inflated in some way - friendly reviews maybe? The big question is where are the sales?TOP RATED ART BUSINESS BOOK DECEMBER 2011Amazon ratings: 5.0 out of 5 stars (26 customer reviews) | Like (8)Goodreads: Avg rating 5.00 (1 rating)This is a new book which has shot to the top of the chart within a month of release. Linked to a practice which provides consultations and support, it's very that likely existing fans have generated this level of support. It's also been helped by releasing an ebook at the same time - although this rank is for the print edition.Product description (abbreviated): This book explains how to be a professional artist and new methods to define and realize what success means.
PLUS - THE BEST NEW ART BOOKS IN 2012
These are the top books published in the last 90 days or due to be published in the next 90 days - including very good books which might not reach the "best seller" or "top rated" for the listed categories
This listing of the best new books other than the top books has now transferred to a separate site - see below
Other Best Art Book Recommendations
A picture's worth a 1,000 words. Which art books do you love and which do you think are the best?
If you've got a list which you'd like to have added in here send me a link for consideration.
- lines and colors - 2008 Best Art Book Lists
here's a list of lists from various corners for art, design and photography books for 2008:
- Best Art Books
a listopia list of best art books
- Amazon.com: THE BEST ART BOOKS
Here's the beginning of a great library of art history and criticism. The books are expensive, but you should be able to find reasonably-priced copies somewhere.
- The Best Art Books of 2012 | Brain Pickings
A library of cross-disciplinary interestingness and combinatorial creativty
- Drawn - Favourite Comics, Art Books, and More of 2012
Drawn - Favourite Comics, Art Books, and More of 2012
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© 2010 Katherine Tyrrell
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