10 Best Art History Books | March 2017

We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. A perfect gift for any student or art aficionado, our selection of art history books includes something for everyone, from the academic to the simply beautiful. They are ideal for providing a more in-depth understanding of art throughout the ages, and thus enable the reader to foster a greater appreciation of their most favorite pieces. Skip to the best art history book on Amazon.
10 Best Art History Books | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 4
Best Inexpensive
★★★★
10
Collins Big Book of Art is an easy entrance to the world of art for those with limited to no art knowledge. It includes everything from cave art to pop art with everything in between, making it a great crash course and a perfect coffee table book.
9
The Painter's Secret Geometry is ideal for art students and artists. It helps you understand how famous artists have used geometric patterns to compose their artwork, so you can do the same. Plus it is richly illustrated, with a focus on European art.
8
Art: A World History somehow manages to be comprehensive and concise, covering artwork from ancient times up to the present, and it even includes current art locations. It's a great book for passing the time anywhere because it's small enough to fit in your pocket.
7
Art of the 20th Century covers a full range of art disciplines including photos and other media that they never could have imagined 100 years ago. It has thematic chapters that highlight the relationship between art and time, making it very informative.
  • a good starting point for art students
  • makes a nice coffee table book
  • only mentions a few female artists
Brand Brand: Taschen
Model pending
Weight 6.9 pounds
6
Art from Cave to Contemporary begins with a section that includes simple steps on how to look at paintings and sculptures with a formal analysis. This helps readers have a greater appreciation for art, which makes the book more enjoyable to the average reader.
  • subdivided into main periods of history
  • several paintings by each major artist
  • includes thematic galleries
Brand Dorling Kindersley, Inc
Model pending
Weight 7.5 pounds
5
Art in Time examines art within a context of politics and history to see how they relate to, and are influenced by, each other. It gives a unique perspective to readers that is not often examined, plus it is all explained in succinct, easy-to-read, authoritative text.
  • includes news headlines and clippings
  • good balance of information and images
  • moves backwards in history from now
Brand Phaidon Press (COR)
Model pending
Weight 5.9 pounds
4
Rick Steves’ Europe 101 makes for a great accompaniment to students making their first trip to Europe. It examines the continent's most important artistic periods and explains the forces behind them. It helps travelers make the most of their visit.
  • includes a handy list of sights
  • humorous style to keep readers engaged
  • helps relate art history to travel
Brand Steves, Rick
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
3
The Art Museum was created by a team of 100 art history specialists, and features more than 2,500 works of art on 1,000 oversized pages. It's one of the most comprehensive art history books anywhere, but that makes it nearly 20 lbs in weight and too big to travel with.
  • covers 3,000 years of art history
  • covers art from all societies & cultures
  • has stunning image quality
Brand Phaidon Inc. Ltd (COR)
Model pending
Weight 18 pounds
2
50 Artists You Should Know has been recently updated and profiles 50 well-known artists, along with their representative works, in an easy to understand and eye-catching format with vibrant illustrations. It also includes brief biographies and critical analysis of each.
  • focuses on european and us painters
  • sidebars highlight relevant techniques
  • makes a good reference guide
Brand 50 Artists You Should K
Model pending
Weight 12.6 ounces
1
Art through the Ages is a comprehensive illustrated tour of some of the world's greatest art styles and traditions. It provides a rich cultural backdrop for each period and geographic region, which helps you understand how each contributed to art as we know it today.
  • scale feature helps conceptualize size
  • has end of chapter concept summaries
  • most widely read art history book
Brand Kleiner, Fred S.
Model pending
Weight 8.7 pounds
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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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