Cover image for American painting
American painting
Castria, Francesca.
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill, [2002]

Physical Description:
301 pages : chiefly illustrations (all color) ; 28 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND205 .A66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



- A comprehensive survey of American painting, from colonial times to the present day
- Features 400 dazzling color illustrations of American master-pieces, many of them full-page reproductions
- Knowledgeable, insightful text from experts in the field

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Translated from the original Italian edition (2002), this is a chronological visual survey of American painting. It eschews sustained narrative for extensive biographical and critical captions, most 100 to 200 words in length. The book is divided into sections, each covering a specific time period, e.g., "Anglo-Saxon Tradition," "Discovery of the West," and "American Realism," and featuring well-known artists and mostly well-known works. Altogether, the 77 artists run from John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) to Jean-Michel Basquiat. The team of Italian authors gives each section a two-page introduction, and the artists included receive reasonable visual coverage (e.g., Asher Durand gets six plates and Thomas Hart Benton, eight). Although the foreign art historians do offer a different view than Americans might, the lack of narrative structure and the multiple authorship do not add up to a coherent book. The 400 plates are all rather flat and in many cases slightly orange. For a good survey for general audiences, one is still beholden to Jules Prown and Barbara Rose's American Painting (Skira, 2 vols., 1969; reprint, Rizzoli, 1985. o.p.), which obviously does not cover more recent material.-Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Covering the period from the 1700s to the late 1900s, this large book seeks to relate American painting to its history, its landscape, and its energy. However, the point of view is almost entirely Eurocentric (the authors are Italian, as was the language of the original text), alluding to European influences. There is no revisionism here: the usual canon and its famous images are all present. Lavishly illustrated, the book contains short descriptive essays of the various classifications, from "The Anglo-Saxon Tradition" to "From Pop to Graffiti," and, in smaller font, specifics about each artist and selected works. These vignettes accompany the images, making for an enjoyable reading experience. Most interesting is the mention of the artists' education, travels, and exhibitions. Many connections can quickly be inferred; for example, Robert Henri's students were legion and Alfred Stieglitz's Gallery 291 was a vector for American-European artistic confluence. Oddly absent was Hans Hofmann. No footnotes or bibliography; synoptic table and index of names. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. B. Waterman-Peters formerly, Washburn University of Topeka