Great Artists (Marshall Cavendish)

"Their lives, works and inspirations"

One of their most popular and enduring projects, the "Great Artists" series first appeared in the mid-1980s. The full series is in 96 parts, spanning major artists from early Renaissance to Post-modernism. As well as focusing on a particular artist, each magazine puts the artist into historical context and gives valuable information on social conditions and contemporary cultural movements.

The series first appeared in 1984 but was relaunched in 1985 with a special offer on the first two issues ("Free with Part 1/2 etc"). Both had a cover price of 95p but the '85 release struck more of a chord and seems to be the most prevalent. The price didn't hold long however and some issues have the price line scored out. It was reprinted in 1990 in much the same format but with the price changed to £1.50. By this time, Marshall Cavendish seem to have realised they were on to a winner and the whole series was reprinted in 1993 with the early numbering system changed slightly (1: Van Gogh, 2: Constable, 3: Monet, 4: Renoir, 5: Turner, 6: Toulouse-Lautrec). The earliest releases came in 8 plastic binders each holding 12 magazines in the now familiar unibinder strip system. The second major release, which is less common, came in 6 boarded binders with tastefully embossed artists' insignia and plastic clips holding the mags in place. We use the earliest numbers and binders for identification purposes. If you are unsure which release you need, the price printed on the magazine cover gives the clue:- 95p or £1.50 on the first series, £1.60 on the second. There are minor variations in each re-printing just to add to the confusion. Please use 'Contact' if still unsure or make it clear in 'your notice to us' if you have a particular requirement to match to an existing collection.

To add further complication, some issues are much more sought after than others. Picasso (No 71) is difficult to find. Others such as Leonardo, Vermeer, Klimt, Hopper, Rousseau, Marc, Matisse are also scarce.

The figure in brackets () after each title indicates current availability.

Last updated  September 2013


1a: Constable (1)

1b: Van Gogh (0)

No 2 in the First Edition, it became No 1 when M/C released the Second Edition in the 90s. Rather scarce.

2a: Van Gogh (1)

popular artist, this one's quite scarce

2b: Constable (1)

No 2 in the Second Edition.

3a: Renoir (1)

3b: Monet (0)

Please Note: We generally have at least one issue of Monet but this, more than any others, has several minor variations (eg different painting on the front cover); you might want to check with us before ordering, or leave a note with your order, to ensure we send the right one.

4a: Turner (0)

4b: Renoir (0)


5a: Toulouse-Lautrec (1)

5b: Turner (0)


6a: Monet (0)

Please Note: We generally have plenty of stock for the Monet issues but this, more than any other, has several minor variations (eg different painting on the front cover which can itself be pale blue or red); you might want to check with us before ordering, or leave a note with your order, to ensure we send the right one.

6b: Toulouse-Lautrec (0)

7: Blake (1)

8: Gaugin (1)

9: Seurat (3)


10: Goya (1)

11: Millais (4)

12 Delacroix (3)

The first edition of this one has a dark blue cover, the 1996 edition has a dark green cover. Don't ask why, but if the colour is important to you, best to mention.

Complete Volume 1 (GA issues 1-12) in Binder Type 1

Volume 1 from the 1st Edition

13 Cezanne (1)

14 Manet (1)

15 Friedrich (0)

16 Degas (1)

rather scarce

17 Rossetti (1)

18 Ingres (1)