Here’s our second must-read book recommendation: ‘Looking at Pictures’ by Susan Woodford.
For anyone coming fresh to art and art appreciation, this book will really help you develop your eye and your confidence to look, analyse and appreciate paintings. And for anyone already in the know, this is a really refreshing, wise and unpretentious take on a method to look at an pictures.
It doesn’t follow any traditional art historical chronology. It provides a good set of questions to ask yourself when looking at a painting which will put you on a good footing when approaching any picture. It then explores all the big categories of subject matter (e.g. land and sea, portraits, everyday things) as well as fundamental concepts and techniques used in painting.
The writing is relaxed and there are beautiful illustrations within. A really good introduction to anyone wanting to dip their toes in the world of art history and appreciation. It will provide you with that extra confidence to navigate through art museums.