Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Best of 2009 & 2010

I have put links for all my meta-lists for the best of 2009 and 2010 in this post – each one is a compilation of numerous best film, best music and best books lists for each year.  Have a look:

BEST BOOKS OF 2009                      BEST BOOKS OF 2010
BEST FILMS OF 2009                        BEST FILMS OF 2010
BEST MUSIC OF 2009                       BEST MUSIC OF 2010

2012 – It Was A Very Good Year

Every December, like clockwork, film, book and music critics (and bloggers) publish their “Best of the Year” lists in newspapers, magazines and websites.  And since 2002, I’ve been collecting those lists and collating them to find out which books, movies and albums made it onto the most lists.  I’m going to publish all these lists eventually, but for now, I’ve put up the most recent ‘best of’ compilations, from 2012.  Take a look:


Where in the World is my Masterpiece?

I’m using this post to announce my new list of the best works of visual art, which you can find here:  The Greatest Works of Art – A World Tour.   This time, I’ve organized the list by geographic location – so you can find the best works of art wherever you happen to be in the world.  (The list of works of art, as you know, is a compilation of 15 ‘best works of art’ lists that I collected from the Internet and books – the list includes every art work that was listed on at least two of those 15 lists.)  As a result of my new list, I was able to determine which museums held the most works of art on the list.  The following is a list of those museums, with the number of listed works in parentheses.

  1. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France (37)
  2. National Gallery, London, UK (28)
  3. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, US (26)
  4. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain (20)
  5. The Tate, London, UK (14)
  6. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, US (14)
  7. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy (13)
  8. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France (12)
  9. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria (11)
  10. British Museum, London, UK (11)



The Artists Show Their Faces: A New List of Painters and Sculptors

I’ve just finished another list based on the ‘best works of art’ theme.  This time, the focus is on the artists: Who are they?  Which of their works are considered their greatest masterpieces?  And, of course, what do they look like?   There are loads of pictures – many of them self-portraits.  For once, the list is alphabetical instead of chronological so the post-Modernists are mixing with the post-Impressionists, and the Byzantine is rubbing shoulders with the Baroque.  Take a look and see what you think:  Great Artists and their Masterpieces.

Just in Time: A History of The Visual Arts in Two Lists.

My preoccupation with the visual arts continues. I have produced a chronological history of painting and sculpture using the meta-list I created from 15 separate ‘best works of art’ lists: my own personal Art History 101. Unlike my list Best Works of Art of All Time – The Critics’ Picks, which includes works on three or more of the 15 original lists, this new configuration includes works on two or more of the lists, which added nearly 300 works of art to the total list. For convenience, I’ve divided the chronological list in two – the first starts with the Paleolithic era, 30,000 BCE or so, and ends in 1599 when the Renaissance was ending. The second list takes art from 1600 to the present. I’ve tried to include public domain images for all the works that are not already included on the “Best Works of Art of All Time” list.

Why chronological? It is not necessarily because I believe that art has improved or become better over time, although some eras and regions seem to have had more technically skilled artists than others – perhaps because of superior art education and training opportunities – but I don’t think art evolved from worse to better (or from better to worse, for that matter). I do see evolution in the non-teleological sense: one discovery led to another, a style influenced some to imitate it, others to rebel against it. Exposure to art of other cultures invigorated some artists to break barriers, and changes in socioeconomic conditions and technology (particularly the invention of photography) influenced both subject matter and style. So while other organizing principles (alphabetical by artist name; geographic location of art work) might produce some fascinating and unexpected juxtapositions (stay tuned), for now I’m sticking with chronological order. Here are the links:

Art History 101 – Part One: 30,000 BCE – 1599
Art History 101 – Part Two: 1600 – Present