Top 10 Best Art History Books of All Time Review 2021

Top 24 Best Art History Books of All Time Review 2020

You’re looking for the Best Art History Books 2021? So you NEED to see this list.

Art history could be intimidating. Composed of innumerable movements, artists, mediums, and fashions, diving into the analysis might appear daunting. But with the outstanding book collection, you will realize that comprehension of art history isn’t just possible but amazingly attainable. After all, as Ralph Waldo Emerson famously maintained, “every artist was first an amateur.”

Therefore, whether you are considering a career in arts management, an artist seeking to find out more about your clinic’s narrative, or just interested in art’s development, these must-have books for budding art historians rely on your shelf!

Top Rated Best Art History books To Read

Top Rated Best Art History books To Read

Here is a list of the best books about art history that Pennbook recommended reading:

The Story of Art

by E.H. Gombrich

For anybody beginning with this trip, they can do much worse than dedicate a few days to studying this book. Gombrich’s immortal line was, “There is, in fact, nothing as artwork. There are only famous artists.” You receive this unbelievable summary of cultural background. It begins with historical artwork, and it finishes with 19th-century paintings in England, France, and America. It isn’t banging up-to-date.

However, it’s art criticism that doesn’t condescend, does not highfalutin. It merely says what he believes attractively. I think that it’s mandatory reading.

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

This gorgeous coffee table book introduces the world of art to all those who have a limited-to-no understanding of this topic. It crosses the art history from cave paintings to the Renaissance to Impressionism to Pop Art. Comprising over 1,200 works of art worldwide, every piece is tagged with the date, state, name, artist, substances, dimensions, and present site.

The Lives of the Artists

Italian painter, architect, historian, and author Giorgio Vasari are chiefly famous for two reasons: he coined the expression Renaissance and composed The Lives of the Artists. Inspired by many to be “the first important book on the artwork,” this text presents a romantic and contemporary look at the lifestyles and work of Italian Renaissance artists, from Giotto and Brunelleschi to Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

This variant is annotated, making it ideal for those interested in knowing more about this legendary artwork motion.


Art: A World History

Best Art History Books For Beginners

This pocket-sized background of the art book covers everything from prehistoric to modern art. Within the webpage, you will discover over 900 images of their most well-known artworks. You will get a thorough grasp of the painting of each period by reading this book. It is among the essential art history books for novices and creates a handy reference manual. You may take it everywhere; it is especially helpful when in an art gallery or on travel.

Gardner’s Art Through The Ages: A Global History

by Fred S. Kleiner

You’ve probably read through Gardner’s books if you have ever taken an art history class. It is not easy to pack the entire human history of art in one or two books, but the text’s accessibility and the large amount of work make it one of the most essential nonfiction art history books.

This second volume of Gardner’s Art through the Ages: An International History follows the late medieval period in Italy through modern art. Simple to comprehend vernacular, followed by magnificent color examples, make Kleiner’s 14th version of the planet’s most popular English language art history book a must-have for any history student.

This volume continues where Kleiner’s first volume left off and contains chapters concerning the current account of art in China, Africa, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

Art History, Combined Volume

by Marilyn Stokstad, Michael W. Cothren

Best for Students

This joint and condensed version of Marilyn Stokstad’s well-known art history offers students an easy to comprehend guide to art history. Including contextual and formal analyses of artworks in their historical, political, and societal circumstance, Stokstad manages to engross viewers with casual verbiage and dazzling skill.

Perfect for first-year students of this topic, this art book covers the fundamentals of the history of art from across the globe, including French impressionism and African American artwork to modernism and cultural customs.


Read also: Best American History Books of All Time Review 2021

Life With Picasso

by Francoise Gilot

These first-hand accounts of existence with revolutionary artist Pablo Picasso are full of details about his everyday life and studio clinic told through the eyes of his spouse Francoise Gilot. Dynamic and fair, Gilot details her decade-long connection with Picasso, where she turned into his model, muse, and mom to two of their artist’s kids. Fascinating and adventuresome, Gilot produces an intimate portrait of an artist that had been frequently a self-absorbed egomaniac, and in other times a loving family man.

Art That Changed the World: Transformative Art Movements and the Paintings That Inspired Them

Best Art History Textbooks For Students

Best Seller Art History Book on Amazon

The world can be influenced by art. This book examines the work of more than 700 artists who had the most significant influence on the world beyond art. This book features well-known artists like Michelangelo. Learn about the vision of each artist and view examples of their greatest works. You can also learn how they influenced art movements.

This book covers various artists, making it one of the most comprehensive art history textbooks. This book will help you gain a deeper understanding of the history and evolution of each art movement. This book will give you profound insight into the influence of each direction on the other.

Women, Art, And Society By Whitney Chadwick

Suppose you are looking for a concise, dense study on women as authors and objects in art. It’s straightforward and clear, and it provides a comprehensive overview of Western art.

Chadwick does an excellent job explaining how politics and social standards have influenced the way women make art and how these changes were portrayed in art. To illustrate these changes and their consequences, she uses biographies of individuals. It is also highly accessible, which is crucial to make art history more accessible.

The Diary Of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

by Carlos Fuentes

Best Art History Biographies

The Diary is a biography that also includes a facsimile of Kahlo’s journals. Fuentes provides translations and complete images of Kahlo’s sketchbook and Diary. Fuentes provides commentary and contextualizes the artist’s life and art within her pages. It is a controversial but informative look into the life of an artist through her eyes and that of art historians.


Other Best Art History Books Considerations

Best Art Criticism And Analysis:

African Renaissance: Old Forms, New Images In Yoruba Art By Moyo Okediji

Immanent Vitalities: Meaning And Materiality In Modern And Contemporary Art By Kaira Cabañas

Power And Glory: Court Arts Of China’s Ming Dynasty By He Li And Michael Knight

Best Art History Books For Beginners:

Art in Theory 1900 – 2000: A Anthology of Changing Ideas

Best Survey Art History Books:

Art Beyond The West By Michael Kampen-O’riley, PhD


The Journal of Eugène Delacroix

A Life of Picasso Volume I’m 1881-1906

The Books that Shaped Art History: From Gombrich and Greenberg into Alpers and Krauss

Twentieth-Century American Art

Edward Said, Orientalism

Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave into Contemporary

A Short Guide To Writing About Art

Roman Art: Romulus To Constantine

Classical Art: From Greece To Rome

Herculaneum: Art Of A Buried City

Baroque: Theatrum Mundi: The World As A Work Of Art

Artemisia Gentileschi

Archaic And Classical Greek Art

Overlay: Contemporary Art And The Art Of Prehistory

The Private Lives Of The Impressionists

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Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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