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Art for Dummies: Helpful Resources to Help Distinguish Cubism from Realism 🎨

“Art surrounds us everywhere” – you’ve probably heard this saying many times. Everyone, from respected media personalities to your acquaintances from school and institute, repeat the same words so often that you involuntarily think: “But it would be nice to know a little more about art than the course of the MHC suggests”.

Therefore, especially for you, we have compiled a selection of the best books, films, and online exhibitions that will help you understand this tangled world of masterpieces, support any dialogue about art and immerse yourself in the very essence of creativity.


Maria Santi, “Just about art. What are they silent about in museums “

A book that will be interesting both for those who are already finding it difficult to discover something new in the history of art and for those who are just starting to study it. Vivid, often funny, and fascinating stories about famous works destroy the established stereotypes in the reader’s head and will help everyone to look at familiar masterpieces from an unexpected angle.

Umberto Eco, “History of Beauty”

In her work, Eco explores beauty as a phenomenon. He discusses how people’s ideas about nature, animals, flowers, and the human body have changed over time: from antiquity to modern mass media. The author tells about the archetypes of the “beautiful”, searches for analogs of this or that image in each historical period, and shows the evolution of aesthetic ideals of different eras – excellent reading for those who want to see the beauty in the familiar.

Susan Sontag, About Photography

Outstanding and very complex work on the art of photography, in which the author puts forward a theory about how the photographer influences the subject of his own photograph and, conversely, about the influence of the event on the photographer. Sontag tells the reader about the meaning of photography in different eras and the public’s reaction to it, discusses the concept of the photograph, and puts forward his own philosophical conclusions, which remain relevant to this day.

John Berger, The Art of Seeing

This famous book was written based on the famous four-part BBC film and was published after its premiere in 1972: in his work, Berger teaches the reader not only to look at the picture but to really see and understand its content, to realize the idea that the author wanted to convey. Written in simple language, the work will help you develop a new perspective on art, painting, and even modern advertising.

Tom Wilkinson, People, and Bricks. 10 architectural structures that changed the world “

In his travel book, architectural historian Tom Wilkinson argues that people live in an architectural environment, which in turn shapes attitudes and shapes our behavior. In this work, you will learn how exactly the buildings around us transform the human worldview, and how space affects those who live in it: useful guidance is useful not only for avid architecture lovers, but also for those who are ready to happily explore the world of colossal buildings and majestic structures.


Google Arts & Culture

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A handy app to explore famous art masterpieces and unique attractions. In Arts & Culture, you can explore categories such as “art”, “history” and “wonders of the world”, choose the filters you need and find any artist, technique, direction, era or color of the work. Although many of the collections presented have only a superficial description, some individual exhibits are accompanied by informative and helpful commentary from the museums in which they are exhibited.

Art Quiz

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In the application in English Art Quiz, you can learn new information about art through quizzes – by setting the required time and the number of questions, you will learn the details and history of world masterpieces through trial and error, learn to highlight the main things in the works of great masters and get acquainted with many interesting paintings …


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An application that daily invites the user to get acquainted with a work of art and a unique commentary on it. If you have little free time, DailyArt will be an excellent substitute for short articles or lectures in the museum – once a day you can learn something amazing and new about familiar masterpieces of world art.


BBC: The Power of Art (2006)

BBC film, consisting of eight episodes, each of which tells about the work of famous painting geniuses: Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, Turner, Rothko, David, and Bernini. You will learn about how these artists influenced the development of art, and how they created the masterpieces of world art familiar to us.

Abstraction: The Art of Design (2017)

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The series will be interesting for those who are serious and for a long time in love with design: each of the eight episodes is dedicated to a specific area of ​​design. All screen time is devoted to interior design, objects, cars, clothing, graphic design, or architecture. Well-known representatives of the profession explain to the viewer how modern designers work, what inspires them, what techniques they use, and what they want to say with their works.

Geniuses of photography (2007)

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A BBC documentary series about the history of photography from its early days to the 21st century. In each of the six interesting episodes, you can learn more about the different styles and techniques, how well-known photographers work, and the relationship between photography and other forms of art.

The art of theft (2009)

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The crime detective tells the story of one of the most high-profile thefts in the world: the story of the struggle for a unique collection of paintings by Dr. Albert Burns. After his death, his collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modernist paintings was estimated by experts at $ 25 billion and attracted the interest of the largest players: from the world’s major museums and auction houses to corporations and big politicians. But Burns’s will says that the collection will never leave his small Pennsylvania mansion, which resonates across all walks of life.

BBC: How Art Made the World (2007)

Another series produced by the BBC, which offers to trace the evolution of art and go on an exciting journey through the thickness of the centuries, visit five continents and witness the most amazing discoveries created by man. The program will be interesting not only for history buffs, but also for everyone who has ever thought about the question of the place of humanity in this world.

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Online exhibitions

Forgotten Russian philanthropist. Collection of Count Pavel Sergeevich Stroganov

The exhibition contains works from the collection of Count Pavel Stroganov – unique paintings, watercolors, sculptures, and objects of decorative and applied art are available as an online tour of the museum. You can see amazing exhibits from the collections of the Hermitage, the Tambov Art Gallery, the Pushkin Museum, and several other cultural institutions, as well as learn something about each masterpiece presented.

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Online Exhibition “Faces of Frida”

The virtual exhibition “Faces of Frida” has opened on the Google Arts & Culture platform you already know. You have the opportunity to view over 200 paintings and sketches by Frida Kahlo, explore the hidden meanings of her work, and dive deeper into the mystical and amazing world of the famous artist.

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Online exhibition “The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Masterpieces of the Leiden collection “

You can see more than 80 works of masters of the Golden Age of Dutch painting in a unique online exhibition dedicated to the work of Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, and many other painters. You can examine in detail pictures of various genres: from portraits to animal painting and study in detail the smallest details of these masterpieces.

Online exhibition Shchukin. Collection biography “

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A truly astounding and grandiose exhibition of masterpieces from the collections of Sergei Shchukin and his brothers: paintings by Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, and Renoir are presented in astonishing quality in an online exhibition dedicated to the history of the formation of 19th and 20th-century art. Shchukin’s collection also contains unique sketches, statues, and incredible artwork that will take your breath away.

We hope our selection has interested and inspired you to learn something new!

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