Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored by Tom Lubbock is an illuminating collection of essays about specific pieces of art. Tom Lubbock brings creative insights into the various works of art, comparing artists, movements, history and contemporary views to develop a unique observation regarding a particular work. At times, Lubbock’s essay doesn’t even seem related to the associated painting. In his essay about Giovanni Francesco Caroto’s Portrait of a Young Boy Holding a Child’s Drawing (c.1515), Lubbock does not focus on the portrait but rather the child’s drawing held by the boy in the painting. Lubbock discusses the ideas of child’s art through history, how it is an unlearned skill from early on that every person loses as we turn “into operating and coordinated” people.
Tom Lubbock’s choice of paintings in Great Works is as interesting as his insights.