100 Details offers Kenneth Clark's personal choice of details of paintings in the National Gallery, London, and his responses to them. Clark chooses the pictures he likes best, hoping that we will come to like them too. The result is like taking a stroll through a glorious art collection with a critic of astounding eye and intellect at our side.
First published in 1938, the book is arranged in a series of facing page spreads, now reproduced in full color, enabling us to discern analogies and contrasts between painting that are rarely seen together--a faun from Piero di Cosimo, a satyr from Rubens. The running commentaries are Kenneth Clark at his best. They range from a few lines to an entire history of still life between Giotto and Picasso, all conveyed in easy style.
Clark insists that there are countless ways of enjoying paintings, provided we stop, look, and think. He has picked the ones to stop at: the detail makes us look. And his comments, wide in scope and catholic in approach, suggest lines of thought so diverse that it is inconceivable that none will strike a chord with the reader. [via]