Spanning seven centuries, this selection of fifty iconic paintings offers readers a crash course in art history while presenting gorgeous color reproductions that are a pleasure to contemplate. Starting with Giotto's Arena Chapel frescoes and continuing through Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, as well as works by Monet, van Gogh, Cassatt, Cezanne, Dali, Kahlo, Hopper, Pollock, Rothko, and O'Keeffe, nearly every important painter is represented in this book. It features works that may be familiar to the eye, but whose histories are even more fascinating. Readers will learn about the painters who created them, the reasons for their importance and the places the paintings can be found. As entertaining as it is informative, this beautiful book is the perfect introduction to great paintings that have stood the test of time.