The Best Art Books for Gifting
Constanza Sardelli advises our readers on the most appealing and inspiring art books, and why they make the perfect gift
With Christmas right around the corner, the frantic gift-shopping has officially begun. Whether you are looking to buy a present for the friend who studies art history or the one who simply appreciates exquisite paintings, this is a comprehensive book guide which caters to everyone’s taste and abilities.
‘Women, Art and Society’ by Whitney Chadwick
In this book, Chadwick challenges the view that successful women artists are outliers in the art world. The author also discusses the revolutionary feminist scholarship in the field of art history from the 1970s and 1980s. In pursuing this line of enquiry, Chadwick addresses issues of class, ethnicity and sexuality.
‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger
An all-time classic and favourite – this seminal work in the field of art history and visual culture will change the way you observe images. Through a series of essays comprised of both words and image, Berger elucidates the ways in which external factors like gender, class and taste affect our perception of the visual. In exploring meaning within art, the author takes us through a series of media, from oil painting to photographs.
‘Art of Renaissance Florence: A City and Its Legacy’ by Scott Nethersole
Nethersole’s Art of Renaissance Florence will give the reader an insight into the art and architecture of the Italian city during the Early and High renaissance periods. Through the work of celebrated artists like Michelangelo, Botticelli and Donatello, you will be transported back in time from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century – to a city of eternal beauty and importance in the field of art history.
‘In the Gardens of Impressionism’ by Clare Willsdon
A publication which covers the work of the most prominent Impressionist artists, spanning from Manet to Monet – this book is perfect for anyone who loves gardening and gorgeous illustrations. With every turn of the page, you will be taken on a journey through the beautifully depicted light and colour of French gardens, parks and flowers. The book ends with a chapter on Impressionist garden painting further afield, namely in Japan, North America, Britain and Germany.
‘Abstract Expressionism: Taschen Basic’ by Barbara Hess
Barbara Hess’s writing takes the reader to New York – the new heart of modernist art in the mid-twentieth century. Artists featured include action painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning as well as colour-field painters like Mark Rothko. This book is ideal for anyone who is new to Abstract Expressionism – a pivotal movement in the history of art.