What makes great art great? Why do some works pulse in the imagination, generation after generation, century after century? From Botticelli’s Birth of Venus to Picasso’s Guernica, some paintings and sculptures have become so famous, so much a part of who we are, that we no longer really look at them. We take their greatness for granted; our eyes have become near-obsolete. We need a new way of seeing.
Unsatisfied with traditional interpretations of masterpieces, which are so often interested only in learning about art, and not from it, Kelly Grovier combed the surface of revered works from the Terracotta Army to Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, in a quest to find the key to their lasting power to move and delight us. He discovered that every truly great work is hardwired with an underappreciated detail that ignites it from deep within.
Stepping away from biography, style and the chronology of ‘isms’ that preoccupies most art history, Grovier tells a new story in which we learn from the artworks, not just about them.
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