What Makes a Masterpiece explores the most important works of art ever created, from the Chauvet Cave to Cezanne. It covers art from Africa to China, Japan to South and Central America, Persia to Sri Lanka, as well as a large selection of European works from Ancient Greece to Impressionism. Little-known treasures such as the Iberian Lady of Elche or a Maya relief from Palenque appear alongside well-loved classics such as Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve or Degas's Little Dancer, creating a fascinating and unique collection of groundbreaking and beautiful works. The book brings together an impressive list of authors: artists such as Antony Gormley and Avigdor Arikha, writers including Marina Warner and Philip Pullman, and cultural figures like Germaine Greer and Quentin Blake appear alongside curators and directors from the Louvre, Prado, Museo di San Marco, Berlin Gemaldegalerie, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, British Museum, and the National Gallery, London. Intimate knowledge combines with unique insight (and some startling new interpretations) to create fresh analyses of these works, of as much interest to art historians as to the general reader.
'Intelligent, lucid, intimate, the book is also beautifully illustrated' - Independent (Best Books for Christmas)
'An art book that really sets you thinking ... a feast of an anthology' - The Spectator
'Thought-provoking ... the breadth of work considered is impressive and the essays are informative and inspiring ... a passionate introduction to the world of great art' - Metro
'Brilliantly edited ... worth buying for the introduction alone' - Decanter