Gothic art finds its roots in the powerful architecture of the cathedrals of northern France. It is a medieval art movement that evolved throughout Europe over more than 200 years.Leaving curved Roman forms behind, the architects started using flying buttresses and pointed arches to open up cathedrals to daylight. A period of great economic and social change, the Gothic era also saw the development of a new iconography celebrating the Holy Mary - in drastic contrast to the fearful themes of dark Roman times. Full of rich changes in all of the various art forms (architecture, sculpture, painting, etc.), Gothic art paved the way for the Italian Renaissance and International Gothic movement.
The original Oxford Companion to Art, edited by the late Harold Osborne, has been a mainstay for over three decades, a renowned one-volume guide to the world of art. Now comes The Oxford Companion to Western Art, almost completely rewritten, covering many more artists and their works, and offering fresh treatment of topics of contemporary interest, including patronage, taste, theory and criticism, materials and techniques, and the new art history.
"This full-color, one-volume dictionary provides a guide through the maze of twentieth-century art. Including artists, movements, photographers, techniques, styles, and turn-of-the-century precursors, The Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the 20th Century draws on the expertise of over sixty art historians to give a comprehensive description and interpretation of the last artistic century.