Written by some of today’s leading art historians and curators, this new collection provides an invaluable road map of the field by comparing and reexamining canonical works of art history. From Émile Mâle’s magisterial study of thirteenth-century French art, first published in 1898, to Hans Belting’s provocative Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, the book provides a concise and insightful overview of the history of art, told through its most enduring literature. Each of the essays looks at the impact of a single major book of art history, mapping the intellectual development of the writer under review, setting out the premises and argument of the book, considering its position within the broader field of art history, and analyzing its significance in the context of both its initial reception and its afterlife. An introduction by John-Paul Stonard explores how art history has been forged by outstanding contributions to scholarship, and by the dialogues and ruptures between them.
Useful as an overview of Western art history over the past century and its evolving methodology. Recommended.
— Library Journal
Richard Shone has been Editor of the Burlington Magazine since 2003 and is the author of several books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art.
John-Paul Stonard, until recently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, is an independent art historian.