Art / History

Book Review : Pictures That Every Child Should Know (1908)

Pictures That Every Child Should Know : A Selection of the World’s Art Masterpieces for Young People (image borrowed from


I stumble upon this lovely 1908 published book in an occasion where I gather up resources for my art history study. This isn’t exactly a popular book for reference today but it still intrigues nonetheless. “… I think rather than only 48 I tell here, there about thousands of pictures that every child should know.. ” really captures the sense of what Bacon is trying to do. And to be honest I agree with her.

Even though it says for young people, the content is quite hefty compared to more modern children books. Like the Elementary Latin Exercises book from Hillard and Botting I used to study Latin it is published before WW I, 1908 to be exact. What I like about this book is that it pays attention to details such as how to pronounce the artists’ name correctly. It also mention whose pupil he/she was or if not mentioned it will definitely mention which school it belongs to. You don’t get that in todays’ books.

The other thing I like about this book is that it gives a rounded story about the artist and how the arts came about. It doesn’t give you the whole story and all the images, but enough to make you want to open other books and study more paintings. Also, you can really tell that people have better attention muscle back then. The book has lengthy passages and over 200 pages of stories back to back. I love it .

These are some of my favorite paintings featured in the book :

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