European Painting and Sculpture Author:Eric Newton The object of this book is to provide a short account of the development of the fine arts, and in particular of painting, in Europe from the earliest times to the present day. The author's aims have been three--brevity, continutiy, and a sense of proportion. He has kept as close to the limits of justifiable compression as possible. Important ... more »secondary artists have been omitted: biographical details are absent. But only by ruthless compression can continuity be assured. Each artist or group of artists is treated not as an isolated phenomenon but as a link in the growing chain of tradition. The emphasis is rather on the strength, the shape, and the direction of the chain at each point in its evolution than on the individual link.
As for a sense of proportion, that must ultimately depend on the author's personal sense of what is important, which, in its turn, is a reflexion of his likes and dislikes. These he has not seriously attempted to conceal, but the reader who does not share them will not find the book invalidated on that account.
In order to achieve brevity it is necessary to begin with a point of view, otherwise fundamental principles have to be stated and re-stated at every crucial point of the story. The opening chapters, therefore, contain a brief exposition of the author's attitude to works of art in general and an explanation of the characteristics of European art as a whole.« less