What are the best art history books? In this overview, you will find our recommendations about this genre. Art history is very interesting because it allows you to learn more and more about how creativity can arise and develop. Read along…

The best art history books of all time

We start our recommendations with the top 10 best books about On Art History of all time. This list has been updated this year, including all the recent titles.

Best Books On Art HistoryAuthor
Janson’s History of ArtPenelope J.E. Davies
Art Since 1900Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss
Lives of the Artists Giorgio Vasari
Mary Beard and John HendersonClassical Art: From Greece to Rome 
History of Modern Art H.H. Arnason
The Story of Art E.H. Gombrich
The Art BookThe editors of Phaidon
The Books that Shaped Art History: From Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss Richard Shone and Jean-Paul Stonard
African-American Art Sharon F. Patton
Art in Theory 1900–2000 Charles Townsend Harrison and Paul Wood

The top 10 list: the best books about art history

Art and Geometry: A Study in Space Intuitions (Dover Books on Art History S)

According to William Ivins the Greeks misunderstood the laws of perspective, and this resulted in different art works than you will see when looking at paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance period.

Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast (Native Art of the Pacific Northwest: A Bill Holm Center)

Indigenous art from the Northwest coast are plays the leading role in this book, as it makes, among other things, discussions possible on the protection of cultural heritage. The aim of this book is to promote scholarships and practices on indigenous art.

Art: A World History

Art can move the soul and be an inspiration for your own thoughts or creativity. This book shows you some of the most amazing art works from all over the world, and it comes with 900 illustrations.

The Short Story of Art: A Pocket Guide to Key Movements, Works, Themes, & Techniques (Art History Introduction, A Guide to Art) 

Art is not always putting paint on a pencil and just move the pencil over a blank canvas. There is much more, like techniques, themes and movements that influence art in a certain period of time. This introduction shares all these elements to help you understand artists and their unique style.

Art History Portables Book 6 (5th Edition)

We like this book, because it teaches students about art history. We love the fact that part of the learning experience takes place online or with apps. Especially teachers will find this book helpful.

Artists: Their Lives and Works

If you want to learn more about painters and how they lived back in the day they created some of their masterpieces, then we suggest you consult ‘Artists: Their Lives and Works’.

The Short Story of Modern Art: A Pocket Guide to Key Movements, Works, Themes, and Techniques

Find out every little detail of the importance of modern art. You will see what techniques, themes and movements played a role in the development of modern art and how these are all connected somehow.

The Collins Big Book of Art: From Cave Art to Pop Art

If you want to add one more book to your collection on art and its history, then we recommend buying this one. It is suitable for all ages, and it is set up chronologically, so you will be able to discover how art evolved.

History of Modern Art (Paperback)

We find this book on Modern art interesting, because it puts an emphasis on the formal and contextual parts of artworks. This will help you analyze and understand modern art.

Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics (California Studies in the History of Art) (Volume 11) 

No two people look at art in the exact same way, and this book explains that by providing notes, interviews, letters and manifestos of both artist themselves and their critics.

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