I have a teenager who is not artistically inclined at all. He has never liked to draw, paint, or sculpt. Even as a toddler, he didn’t even like to color. He loves Bob Ross (we even made Bob Ross BINGO!) and the day he said he would like to try to paint along with the happy superstar, I was pretty excited. But, he changed his mind before I could even order the kit. So we’ve never pushed the hands-on side of art. Instead, we have made artist study and art history a focus instead.
That is what this post is about…a simple list of five art books for teens that will gently teach about the great artists throughout history and the different periods of artistic enlightenment. The second book in this list, The Annotated Mona Lisa, is what he is using to meet the required 1/2 art credit for high school graduation.
The Art Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Discover what makes a piece a significant work of art and tour history’s greatest masterpieces. See the master works of Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and more.
From prehistoric cave paintings to postmodern art, The Art Book explores more than 100 different movements, periods, and works throughout history, including ancient Assyrian sculpture and contemporary Japanese multimedia works. Art’s theories and themes are more approachable and easier to understand through innovative graphics and creative typography.
Part of DK’s award-winning Big Ideas Simply Explained series, The Art Book profiling more than 100 artists and 200 pieces of work, and covers paintings, drawing, sculptures, ready-mades, land art, installations, and more. Follow how art changed in the Medieval world to the 18th century to the modern age. Study famous pieces of art including Venus of Willendorf, The Book of Kells, and Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait. Learn the differences between Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Roy Lichtenstein.
With stunning images and graphics, clear writing, an artist directory, and a vocabulary glossary, The Art Book is the perfect introduction to the complex and exciting world of art.
The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern
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.
This heavily illustrated crash course in art history features succinct page-length essays, instructive sidebars, and more than 300 photographs. It takes art education out of the realm of dreary textbooks, demystifies jargon and theory, and makes the history of art movements accessible to beginning art museum-goers – even at a cursory reading. There are five sections (prehistoric and medieval, renaissance and baroque, the nineteenth century, modern art, and contemporary art) covering a little more than 200 pages.
$17.64 for a new paperback copy at Amazon. Cheaper pre-owned copies are also listed.
Art That Changed the World
Art That Changed the World tells the story of every major art style, movement by movement, giving art lovers a visual timeline showing key paintings that sparked each transition and explaining major events that shaped their evolution.
Each section features a lavish double-page image of an influential painting that defines each artistic style. Seminal works of genius are portrayed in their historical context, with attention paid to the culture of the time and the lives of their creators.
Children’s Book of Art
This engaging guide takes children on an international tour of the world’s greatest art, from the first daubs of paint in prehistoric caves to today’s performance art. It includes all of the important art movements, from Renaissance to Rococo, as well as the great painters from all these eras. However, the approach is to look at art as an international exchange of ideas, not a straight history of western art. The book includes art from all countries, from aboriginal art to totem poles.
Art: A Visual History
Art: A Visual History is the complete visual guide to Western art, now updated and repackaged in a themed slipcase.
How to tell Impressionism from Expressionism, a Degas from a Monet, early Medieval art from early Christian? Art: A Visual History explains it all — painting, sculpture, great artists, styles, and schools — and will help you answer the question, “What makes great art?”
Art: A Visual History includes:
- More than 650 artists and all the major schools and movements, all arranged chronologically.
- Close-up focus on 22 masterpieces, from Ancient Greek sculpture to 1960s Pop Art.
- Well-known icons along with lesser-known gems — carefully chosen to illuminate the points made in the text.
- Features on major schools and movements to explore and explain their stylistic trademarks, characteristics, and favored subjects.
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