Great paintings cannot be fully understood in a single encounter. Art lovers want to revisit and reconsider the masterpieces again and again throughout their lives, perceiving in greater depth and possibly modifying their value judgments every time they look at a work. Viewing a painting as a whole is a perfectly acceptable method of interacting with art, but a deeper understanding can only be gained by analyzing the painting in detail.
Art in Detail spotlights these finer points that even connoisseurs may not pick up on quickly or perhaps at all. It covers all the minutiae that a quick glance will almost certainly fail to reveal. These include subtle internal details, such as hidden symbols and artistic tricks employed by the painter to achieve particular effects. In addition, Susie Hodge writes intelligently and informatively about relevant external influences on the artist--everything from the broad socio-economic context in which he or she flourished, to smaller local difficulties, such as the level of air pollution at the time the painting was created. This book examines 100 paintings from artists such as Pollock, Courbet, Monet, Mondrian, El Greco, van Eyck, and many others.