Art & Architecture

On Quality in Art: Criteria of Excellence, Past and Present

An acclaimed art historian explains how to identify excellence in art


Aug 15, 2023
8 x 10 in.
168 b/w illus.
Art & Architecture
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In this book, Jakob Rosenberg takes up the timeless problem of how to make a valid judgment about artistic quality. In his search for criteria of excellence in art, Rosenberg examines both the achievements and failures of other critics from the Renaissance to modern times, including Giorgio Vasari, Roger de Piles, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Théophile Thoré, and Roger Fry. Drawing vital lessons from these critics’ writings, Rosenberg charts an effective approach to the challenges of judging quality in works of art by analyzing master drawings from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries and comparing them with examples of followers or minor contemporaries. The result is a set of practical criteria that are applicable across diverse periods and styles. Brimming with insights from a legendary art critic and historian, On Quality in Art sheds invaluable light on drawings by artists ranging from Dürer, Raphael, Leonardo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Watteau, Degas, and van Gogh to Matisse, Picasso, and Marin.