30,000 Years of Art Conceived and Edited by Phaidon Editors

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30,000 Years of Art Conceived and Edited by Phaidon Editors

LONDON.- Who were the first artistic civilizations? What were artists creating in Japan while Rembrandt was painting portraits in Leyden? How were similar subjects manipulated by artists in Aztec Mexico and Medieval Europe? Phaidon Editors will publish 30,000 Years of Art on November 2007. 30,000 Years of Art tells the story of world art from the beginnings of human creativity to the present day. Through over 1000 masterpieces, the book explores the artistic output of humankind, including the art of prehistoric man, the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia, the cultures of Africa, Japan and China, and the flowering of Western art.

30,000 Years of Art details the story of human creativity across time and space and will be released in November 2007. Great works of art from all periods and regions in the world are arranged for the first time in chronological order, breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history to celebrate the vast range of human artistry across time and space. The selection reveals the huge diversity, or in many cases similarity of man’s artistic achievements through time and around the globe.

A Chinese Shang urn stands next to a Mycenaean vase, while Michelangelo’s Slave is followed by a contemporaneous male sculpture from Nigeria. This original and unique chronological sequence leads to compelling browsing as surprising juxtapositions offer intellectual pleasure and a sense of wonder and discovery.

The selection includes many seminal and master works which represent defining moments in the history of world art, but also features lesser known works and surprises. The texts have been written by a team of over 50 experts which includes leading academics, curators and archaeologists from the UK, Europe and the US, all of them specialists in their fields.

Each work is accompanied by key caption information and a text that provides critical review of the work, placing it in its art historical context and explaining its contribution to the development of the history of art. The selection of works is non-hierarchical and includes both fine and decorative arts – most commonly painting and sculpture, but also textiles, masks, ceramics and jewellery. The easy to use chronological format also includes an index for cross-referencing and a glossary of artistic schools and movements, making 30,000 Years of Art a key reference book on art history.

Although the sequence of works in the book is strictly chronological, the selection of entries for an individual culture comprises an abbreviated history of the art of that people. Thus, while artworks from ancient Greece or the European Renaissance or pre-Columbian Americas will be interspersed with contemporaneous works created in Africa, India or Japan, an extraction of the Greek or Renaissance or American works could stand alone as an essential abridgement of the finest art of that period or culture.

30,000 Years of Art represents a landmark publication which will appeal to both the amateur and professional. It follows in the tradition of other seminal Phaidon publications such as The Story of Art and The Art Book which provide such fresh and accessible approaches to the study of art that they transcend their traditional audiences. Beautiful, interesting and informative, 30,000 Years of Art is a classic in the making.

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Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

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