Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 750s

750: The Louvre

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750: Laclotte, Michel and Jean-Pierre Cuzin. The Louvre: Paintings. Paris, France: Editions Scala, 2000. 284 pp. ISBN 2-86656-236-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts and Recreation
  • 750: Painting and paintings

On August 10, 1793, a wondrous building was made open to the public. Exactly one year before, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the monarchy felled. The National Assembly urged that the works of art hoarded by Louis and previous kings be collected and displayed so that they could preserve the national memory. At it’s opening, The Louvre showcased 537 paintings and 184 other objects of art. From there started an interesting and sometimes sordid history. Michel Laclotte and Jean-Pierre Cuzin’s The Louvre gives a history of each of the museum’s major collection, but more importantly, displays a wide variety of the museum’s pieces in glorious color plates.

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751: The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schachter

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751.73: Schachter, Rafael. The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti. 393 pp. ISBN 978-0-300-19942-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Art
  • 750: Painting and paintings
  • 751: Painting techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials, or forms
  • 751.7: Specific forms
  • 751.73: Murals and frescoes

Say what you will about street art, it isn’t going anywhere. It can be galling or beautiful. It can inspire passers-by or simply blend into the scenery. The original print for the Obama Hope campaign was spawned from a piece of street art. Rafael’s World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti is a massive undertaking—an attempt to collect evidence of and write intelligently about a style of art that is meant to fade away or be seen as vandalistic or even puerile. With very few exceptions, there are no photographs of the artists in this book. Instead, the art speaks for itself alongside modest short essays detailing some small details of the artist’s life and a quick explanation of their motivations and styles.

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759: The Judgment of Paris by Ross King

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759.409034: King, Ross. The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism. New York: Walker and Company, 2006. 374 pp. ISBN 0-8027-1466-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 750: Painting and paintings
  • 759: Geographical or historical treatment
  • 759.4: France
  • +09034: 19th century

Dewey section 759 has a ton of books to choose from because it’s all about the history of painting, painters, and painting movements. Human beings have been painting since they first figured how to create pigments in caves. For every painter, there’s a unique way to painting something, but the world of 19th century France didn’t see it that way. They had strict rules for what was considered good painting and what didn’t pass muster. Ross King’s Judgment of Paris recounts the ten years that led to the first modern schism in the art world. On one side was the Salon de Paris, championed by Ernest Messonier, and the other were the Impressionists, founded by a scrappy, radical artist known as Eduard Manet.

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755: The Mystery of Love by Sister Wendy Beckett

755.62: Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Mystery of Love: Saints in Art Through the Centuries. United Kingdom: HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN 0-06-060679-7. 83 pp.

Works on painting and painters occupy the 750s. The problem, however, is that you can write about painting from many different angles. You can publish a biography of a painter, or the history of a particular painting, or the history of painting in general. What you can also do is track a particular object or theme throughout history in different paintings. When you track religious iconography or symbolism, the work is then classed in 755. And that’s where we are today.

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