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Looking at pictures can be enjoyable, exciting or moving. Some pictures are easily appreciated at first glance, but others – often the most rewarding – require some explanation before they can be fully understood. This clearly written and enjoyable book is intended both to increase pleasure and stimulate thought and tackles many aspects of looking at paintings. Starting with familiar ideas, Dr Susan Woodford moves on to explore subtler, less obvious concepts. For example, she shows how paintings can be appreciated as patterns on a flat surface emotional effect; how ordinary objects can conceal hidden meanings and how knowledge of tradition improves our understanding of revolutionary works.