Art History: The Basics

Art History: The Basics

Art History: The Basics

Art History: The Basics


Art History: The Basicsis a concise and accessible introduction for the general reader and the undergraduate approaching the history of art for the first time at college or university.

It will give you answers to questions like:

  • What is art and art history?
  • What are the main methodologies used to understand art?
  • How have ideas about form, sex and gender shaped representation?
  • What connects art with psychoanalysis, semiotics and Marxism?
  • How are globalization and postmodernism changing art and art history?

Each chapter introduces key ideas, issues and debates in art history, including information on relevant websites and image archives. Fully illustrated with an international range of artistic examples, Art History: The Basicsalso includes helpful subject summaries, further ideas for reading in each chapter, and a useful glossary for easy reference.


Art History: The Basics has been written as an undergraduate primer and for the general reader with an interest in art history and the visual arts. As a university or college student, you may be exploring art history or the contextual studies component of a practice-based fine art or art and design programme for the first time. If you are a regular or even casual visitor to galleries and exhibitions, or peruse art critics’ newspaper columns and reviews, Art History: The Basics offers an introduction to the subject and to broader debates about the interpretation and meaning of art.


In the last few decades art history has developed significantly beyond the stylistic analysis and classification of art works. A number of introductory books or anthologies have been written which open up the subject to the student or general reader. For example, John Berger’s collaborative series of essays, Ways of Seeing (1972), offered a critical Marxist approach to a canonical art history. Marcia Pointon’s Art History: A Students’ Handbook (since 1980) is a highly successful and popular guide largely aimed at a pre-college . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.