Art History

art history, the study of works of art and architecture. In the mid-19th cent., art history was raised to the status of an academic discipline by the Swiss Jacob Burckhardt, who related art to its cultural environment, and the German idealists Alois Riegl, Heinrich Wölfflin, and Wilhelm Worringer. The latter three saw art history as the analysis of forms and viewed art apart from any function it serves in expressing the spirit of its age. Major 20th-century art historians include Henri Focillon, Bernard Berenson, Aby Warburg, Émile Mâle, Erwin Panofsky, and Ernst Gombrich; the succeeding generation has included Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, Donald Kuspit, and Giselda Pollack. Modern art history is a broad field of inquiry embracing formal questions of stylistic development as well as considerations of social and cultural context. Since the 1970s, a heightened awareness of gender, ethnicity, and environmental issues has marked the work of many art historians.

See A. Hauser, The Social History of Art (4 vol., 1958–60); M. Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (1982); E. H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (16th ed. 1995); P. J. E. Davies et al. Janson's History of Art (8th ed. 2010); H. Honour and J. Fleming, The Visual Arts: A History (rev. 7th ed. 2013).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Art History: Selected full-text books and articles

Temporarily FREE! Art History: The Basics By Grant Pooke; Diana Newall Routledge, 2007
Art History: The Key Concepts By Jonathan Harris Routledge, 2006
The History of Art History By Udo Kultermann Abaris Books, 1993
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists By Ian Chilvers Oxford University Press, 1996 (2nd edition)
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