Art History & Appreciation

There are works of art so inherently beautiful or stunning that anyone looking at them ends up choking back tears, or standing transfixed, or simply unable to breathe for several seconds. What you won't often hear is that those are the exceptions, that most paintings, buildings and sculptures require anterior knowledge to be fully appreciated.

Once you know what to look for, the once-abstruse and confusing world of chiaroscuro, Pre-Raphaelite, and oxidation fire becomes navigable and even a welcome place from the ho-hum mundanities of the everyday world. Though, of course, we'd be the last to encourage art appreciation for mere escapism—if a work can't reveal some element of human nature or help us understand things a little better, it isn't worth much.

This is one reason a lot of modern art can't really be considered art at all. It isn't intended to reveal anything, but simply to be "living commentary," a mere reflection, not of reality, but of the artist's inner conflict or angst. Sometimes it's not even that deep, and simply reflects the belief that there is no meaning in the world, that everything is empty, that nihilism is the only truth.

We reject those claims entirely. Everything is meaningful because Christ has made it so. Taken too far that idea is sometimes used to defend all kinds of non-art and just plain bad art, but all it really means is that everything is either consistent with or in rebellion against God's truth, and that artistic endeavours reveal which side the artist is on.

For Christians, understanding art from this perspective should be the primary motive in studying anything from the Sistine Chapel to Rembrandt's portraits to the illustrations of N.C. Wyeth. Art has the potential to entertain and delight, but it also affects the attitudes and thoughts of those who come in contact with it. Understanding a work's context and significance will immensely help us determine whether it's beneficial or pernicious.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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Andy Warhol
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Annotated Mona Lisa
by Carol Strickland
2nd edition from Andrews and McMeel
for 5th-12th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$19.54 $15.00 (1 in stock)
Art and Civilization: Ancient Rome
Art and Civilization
by Giovanni Di Pasquale & Matilde Bardi
from Peter Bedrick Books
Roman History Reference for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HIS-ANCROM)
$12.00 (2 in stock)
Art for Children: Renaissance
Art for Children
by Lillo Canto
from Chelsea House Publishing
Art Appreciation for 4th-6th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation (Location: HIS-RENREF)
$20.00 $9.00 (1 in stock)
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
by Marguerite Henry
from Beautiful Feet Books
for 1st-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$9.50 (1 in stock)
Child's Book of Art
by Lucy Micklethwait
from DK Publishing
for Preschool-1st grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Children's Book of Art
by Rosie Dickins
from Usborne
for 4th-6th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$9.50 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: American Indian Art
by Stephanie Salomon
1st Edition
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$10.00 (2 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Animals in Art
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
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in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Art in Early America
by Randy Osofsky
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
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$12.00 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: World of Play
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
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in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Creative Drawing
by Howard J. Smagula
from Brown & Benchmark Publishers
for 9th-Adult
in Advanced Drawing Instruction (Location: ART-DRAWADV)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Degas and the Little Dancer
by Laurence Anholt
from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
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$7.50 (1 in stock)
Discover Great Paintings
by Lucy Micklethwait
from DK Publishing
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$9.00 (1 in stock)
Discovering Great Artists
by MaryAnn F. Kohl & Kim Solga
from Bright Ring Publishing
for Preschool-6th grade
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$16.11 $13.00 (2 in stock)
Drawings of the Masters: Flemish & Dutch Drawings
by Colin Eisler
from Shorewood Publishers
for 5th-Adult
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Emily's Blue Period
by Cathleen Daly & Lisa Brown
from Roaring Brook Press
for 1st-4th grade
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$7.00 (1 in stock)
Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
by Margaret Frith
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 1st-3rd grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Genius of Leonardo
by Guido Visconti, Bimba Landmann
from Barefoot Books
for 1st-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
God & the History of Art I - Paint & Marker Cards
for 4th-12th grade
in How Great Thou Art (Location: I)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Great Studio Projects in Art History
by William Reid
Revised from Walch Publishing
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in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Henri Matisse
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
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in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
How Artists See Feelings
by Colleen Carroll
1st Library Ed from Abbeville Press
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$5.00 (1 in stock)
How Artists See the Elements
by Colleen Carroll
from Abbeville Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$5.00 (2 in stock)
I, Juan de Pareja
by Elizabeth Borton de TreviƱo
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Realistic Fiction/Slavery for 5th-8th grade
1966 Newbery Medal winner
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$4.00 (4 in stock)
I, Juan de Pareja
by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for 5th-9th grade
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$8.00 (1 in stock)
Introduction to Art
Usborne Internet-Linked
from Usborne
for 4th-8th grade
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$12.00 (1 in stock)
Jackson Pollock
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Joni
by Joni Eareckson Tada
from Zondervan
Biography for 8th-10th grade
in Biographies (Location: O1A-BIO)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Linnea in Monet's Garden
by Christina Bjork & Lena Anderson
from R&S Books
Biography for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Linnea's Almanac
by Cristina Bjork
from R&S Books
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
M.C. Escher Kaleidocycles
Box from Purple Pomegranate Productions
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$20.00 (1 in stock)
Marvellous to Behold
by Deirdre Jackson
from British Library
for 10th-Adult
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$15.00 (1 in stock)
Masterpiece of the Month
by Jennifer Thomas
from Teacher Created Materials, Inc.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Mathew Brady
by James D. Horan
from Bonanza Books
for 8th-Adult
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: HIS-19CACW)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Norman Rockwell
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Pablo Picasso
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Paintings That Smile
by True Kelley
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: O1A-BIO)
$3.50 (2 in stock)
Rembrandt
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists
by Mike Venezia
Revised from Children's Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Rembrandt and Seventeenth-Century Holland
Masters of Art
by Claudio Pescio
1st edition from Peter Bedrick Books
for 5th-Adult
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Renaissance Art Game
First Edition
for 4th-6th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$18.00 (1 in stock)
Sister Wendy's Story of Painting
by Wendy Beckett
from DK Publishing
for 10th-Adult
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$25.00 (1 in stock)
Story of Painting
by Sister Wendy Beckett
from DK Publishing
for 10th-Adult
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$48.00 $25.00 (1 in stock)
Talking to the Sun
by Selected by Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell
from Henry Holt and Company
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: P6A-POET)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Usborne Famous Artists Sticker Book
from Usborne
for 2nd-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ARTISTS)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Usborne Introduction to Art
by Mari Griffith, Rosie Dickins
from Scholastic Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Usborne Introduction to Art
by Mari Griffith, Rosie Dickins
from Scholastic Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ART-HIS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
You're a Grand Old Flag
by Norman Rockwell
from Atheneum
for 1st-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.00 (1 in stock)