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); H. W. Janson, History of Art (4th rev. ed. 1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Art History: Selected full-text books and articles

The History of Art History
Udo Kultermann.
Abaris Books, 1993
The New Art History: A Critical Introduction
Jonathan Harris.
Routledge, 2001
Art History and Its Institutions: Foundations of a Discipline
Elizabeth Mansfield.
Routledge, 2002
Art History: An Anthology of Modern Criticism
Wylie Sypher.
Vintage Books, 1963
Perspectives on Western Art
Linnea H. Wren.
Harper Collins, vol.2, 1994
History of Classic Painting
Marc Logé; André Leclerc; M. De Gesne; Frederick Moss; S. Béguin; Rosamund Frost.
Hyperion, 1951
A Concise History of Painting: From Giotto to Cézanne
Michael Levey.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1962
Medieval Art
Marilyn Stokstad.
Harper & Row, 1986
Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s
Irving Sandler.
Icon Editions, 1996
Pop Art and the Origins of Post-Modernism
Sylvia Harrison.
Cambridge University Press, 2001
Key Writers on Art: The Twentieth Century
Chris Murray.
Routledge, 2003
The Lives of the Artists
Giorgio Vasari; Julia Conaway Bondanella; Peter Bondanella.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator


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.