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History of Art

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For 1000s of art lovers both amateur & professional, esthetic life began with Janson, as his History of Art is often called. In the 1st edition, published in 1962, he spoke to that perennial reader he gently called "the troubled layman." His opening paragraph revealed his sympathy: "Why is this supposed to be art?" he quoted rhetorically. "How often have we heard this For 1000s of art lovers both amateur & professional, esthetic life began with Janson, as his History of Art is often called. In the 1st edition, published in 1962, he spoke to that perennial reader he gently called "the troubled layman." His opening paragraph revealed his sympathy: "Why is this supposed to be art?" he quoted rhetorically. "How often have we heard this question asked--or asked it ourselves, perhaps--in front of one of the strange, disquieting works that we are likely to find nowadays in the museum or art exhibition?" Keeping that curious, questioning perspective in mind, he wrote a history of art from cave painting to Picasso that was singularly welcoming, illuminating & exciting. Sojourning thru this book, a reader is offered every amenity for a comfortable trip. Because he never assumes knowledge on the part of the reader, a recent immigrant from Mars could comprehend Western art from this text. The only assumption the Jansons have made is that with a little guidance everyone can come to understand the artifacts that centuries of architecture, sculpture, design & painting have deposited in our paths. Countless readers have proven the Jansons right & found their lives enriched in the process.


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For 1000s of art lovers both amateur & professional, esthetic life began with Janson, as his History of Art is often called. In the 1st edition, published in 1962, he spoke to that perennial reader he gently called "the troubled layman." His opening paragraph revealed his sympathy: "Why is this supposed to be art?" he quoted rhetorically. "How often have we heard this For 1000s of art lovers both amateur & professional, esthetic life began with Janson, as his History of Art is often called. In the 1st edition, published in 1962, he spoke to that perennial reader he gently called "the troubled layman." His opening paragraph revealed his sympathy: "Why is this supposed to be art?" he quoted rhetorically. "How often have we heard this question asked--or asked it ourselves, perhaps--in front of one of the strange, disquieting works that we are likely to find nowadays in the museum or art exhibition?" Keeping that curious, questioning perspective in mind, he wrote a history of art from cave painting to Picasso that was singularly welcoming, illuminating & exciting. Sojourning thru this book, a reader is offered every amenity for a comfortable trip. Because he never assumes knowledge on the part of the reader, a recent immigrant from Mars could comprehend Western art from this text. The only assumption the Jansons have made is that with a little guidance everyone can come to understand the artifacts that centuries of architecture, sculpture, design & painting have deposited in our paths. Countless readers have proven the Jansons right & found their lives enriched in the process.

30 review for History of Art

  1. 4 out of 5

    peiman-mir5 rezakhani

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 625 صفحه تشکیل شده است و برای بیشترِ موضوعات که مربوط به تاریخ هنر در دورانِ و نژادها و سرزمینهایِ گوناگون است، توضیحات کافی به همراهِ عکس هایِ با کیفیت ارائه شده است ---------------------------------------------- عزیزانم، میتوان گفت، نخستین هنر و یا صنعتِ انسانها مربوط به زمانی میشود که ابزارهایِ مختلف به وسیلهٔ تراش دادن و خرده پرانی کردن، به شکلهایِ مناسب تری تبدیل شده است که آن دوران را "پارینه سنگی" و یا "عصرِ حجر" مینامیم در چیزی حدودِ 20 هزار سالِ پیش، نخستین آثا ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 625 صفحه تشکیل شده است و برای بیشترِ موضوعات که مربوط به تاریخ هنر در دورانِ و نژادها و سرزمینهایِ گوناگون است، توضیحات کافی به همراهِ عکس هایِ با کیفیت ارائه شده است ---------------------------------------------- ‎عزیزانم، میتوان گفت، نخستین هنر و یا صنعتِ انسانها مربوط به زمانی میشود که ابزارهایِ مختلف به وسیلهٔ تراش دادن و خرده پرانی کردن، به شکلهایِ مناسب تری تبدیل شده است که آن دوران را "پارینه سنگی" و یا "عصرِ حجر" مینامیم ‎در چیزی حدودِ 20 هزار سالِ پیش، نخستین آثارِ هنری انسان پدیدار گشت... جالبِ توجه ترین آثارِ هنرِ پارینه سنگی، تصویرهایی از جانوران گوناگون است که نیاکانِ ما بر سطحِ دیواره هایِ سنگیِ غارها، نقاشی و پیکر تراشی کرده اند... امروزه کماکان قبایلی یافت میشوند که در وضعیتِ عصرِ پارینه سنگی زندگی میکنند، ولی عدهٔ بازماندگانِ دوران "نو سنگی" به مراتب از آنها فراوان تر است و در نقاطِ بیشتری از کرهٔ زمین پراکنده شده اند... این بازماندگان همان گروه هایی از انسانها هستند که جامعه هایِ نخستینِ آفریقایِ استوایی و جزایرِ جنوبِ اقیانوسِ آرام و دو قارهٔ شمالی و جنوبی آمریکا را به وجود آورده اند... این مردمان، مرحلهٔ انقلابِ نوسنگی را گذرانده، ولی در مسیرِ تکاملی و تمدن هایِ تاریخی، پیشرفتی نیافته اند ‎میراثِ فرهنگی اقوامِ نخستین رویِ زمین، فرهنگِ کنونی ما را غنی تر ساخته است، چنانکه رسوم و عقاید، دانش و ادبِ قومی و حتی موسیقی آن مردمان به دستِ نژادشناسان جمع آوری و تدوین شده است و به ویژه نمونه هایِ نقاشی و پیکره سازی و دیگر آثارِ هنری این مردگان در سراسرِ باخترزمین موردِ پسندِ روزافزون هنر دوستانی قرار گرفته است که مشتاقانه از آن آثار، مجموعه هایی تشکیل میدهند --------------------------------------------- ‎بخش های مختلف این کتاب، بدینگونه است: هنر بشر قبل از تاریخ - هنر مصری - خاور نزدیک باستانی (سومری،آشوری،ایرانی) - هنر اژه ای - هنر یونانی - هنر اتروریایی - هنر رومی - هنر صدر مسیحیت و بیزانسی - اسلام!!! ( اسلام به خودی خود، خالی از هنر است و منظور هنرِ ایرانیان پس از یورشِ تازیانِ وحشی و بی تمدن به ایران زمین بوده است)- هنر قرون وسطای پیشین - هنر رومانسک - هنر گوتیک - نقاشی و پیکر تراشی در دورانِ گوتیکِ پسین - هنر در دوران رنسانس - هنر در دورهٔ مدرن که شاملِ شیوهٔ رومانتیک، رئالیسم، امپرسیونیسم، پسا امپرسیونیسم، معماری و نقاشی و پیکر تراشی در قرنِ بیستم، میشود --------------------------------------------- ‎امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ شناختِ این کتاب مفید بوده باشه و از خواندنِ این کتاب لذت ببرید ‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  2. 4 out of 5

    Books Ring Mah Bell

    I had an earlier edition of this book for a required humanities class in college : art appreciation. And you know what? I learned to appreciate art. Not LIKE everything, but understand it a bit more. I also gained some killer arm muscles lugging this beast to and from class. Once, I almost used it as a weapon on a homeless man who startled me asking for some change. I could have killed him! I didn't. But... this book is the best, even if it is dangerous.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    I actually have the massive 8x11" size version of this book which an aunt gave to me decades ago. It is both highly readable (as much so as Gombrich) and full of gorgeous illustrations. It is not too academic so perfect for the layman and worth far more than merely a coffee table ornament. It is naturally focused on Western Art but there is some discussion of influences from outside the "western tradition".

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    I've not really read this book, I use it as a reference. I've not been disappointed for that use, though any book, even one this large, can't contain an inclusive history of a subject as large as "art". I may modify the three stars at some point if I find that it's deficient in a few things I'm looking for. (Though for that matter, why not just use the web if you're looking for info on an artist or even a particular work of art? The web has made large reference books like this sort of obsolete, n I've not really read this book, I use it as a reference. I've not been disappointed for that use, though any book, even one this large, can't contain an inclusive history of a subject as large as "art". I may modify the three stars at some point if I find that it's deficient in a few things I'm looking for. (Though for that matter, why not just use the web if you're looking for info on an artist or even a particular work of art? The web has made large reference books like this sort of obsolete, no?) whatever

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I can't believe I read the whole thing--haha! It was for AP Art History class in high school--I loved it. Our teacher was fantastic and over 1 year, we went through this whole book, adding notes in the margins on almost every piece of art in the book. It's a huge book that probably gave us all spine curvatures from carrying it in our backpacks, but now it's a treasure I'll keep with me for the rest of my life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    H.W. Janson was my boyfriend my senior year of high school I carried around this big maroon book and decided that after 2.5 years of wanting to be an English major I would study Art History for the next chunk of my education. I know there have been problems with Janson's a) focus on Western art and b) focus on art created by dudes (see: The Guerrilla Girls) but by the time I got to it, it was on its 7th or 8th edition and it was a little better. It also helped to supplement it with Laurie Schini H.W. Janson was my boyfriend my senior year of high school I carried around this big maroon book and decided that after 2.5 years of wanting to be an English major I would study Art History for the next chunk of my education. I know there have been problems with Janson's a) focus on Western art and b) focus on art created by dudes (see: The Guerrilla Girls) but by the time I got to it, it was on its 7th or 8th edition and it was a little better. It also helped to supplement it with Laurie Schinieder Adams' book on the same subject.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dee's Books

    Art evolves as man.... I loved this massive book in college! It was like the bible to anything and everything Art! I was always impressed with how H.W Janson was able to break down each era and make Art come to life on paper. So if you need to learn about the essentials to the history of Art, this is the source to use. The editions have changed but the beginning of the book is the same while from the 20th century to present it has been altered duly so to reflect the evolution of new practices us Art evolves as man.... I loved this massive book in college! It was like the bible to anything and everything Art! I was always impressed with how H.W Janson was able to break down each era and make Art come to life on paper. So if you need to learn about the essentials to the history of Art, this is the source to use. The editions have changed but the beginning of the book is the same while from the 20th century to present it has been altered duly so to reflect the evolution of new practices used in Art. 5 worthy stars *****

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    This book was on the top shelf in the family library (perhaps the original 1962 edition). I would pull it out only when the house was empty because I found the art therein so "tantalizing." I've never been far from the arts since.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    From the dawn of time, artists have been the visual record keepers. My favorite era's are the neoclassic and romantic, the artist's were finally picking up the chisel and paintbrush to depict the everyday and current events of the time, not just being commissioned by rich families and royals to pay homage to their religions as means to save their rich souls from the depths of hell. It gave birth to an independence of expression and inspiration for artists to come. Art has a depth and richness th From the dawn of time, artists have been the visual record keepers. My favorite era's are the neoclassic and romantic, the artist's were finally picking up the chisel and paintbrush to depict the everyday and current events of the time, not just being commissioned by rich families and royals to pay homage to their religions as means to save their rich souls from the depths of hell. It gave birth to an independence of expression and inspiration for artists to come. Art has a depth and richness that is awe inspiring, from the first little fertility goddess found to the extravagant styles of Baroque and Rococco, and the Dada movement that I still don't get. (?) I love reading about art, enough to help grasp the passion felt by those inspired to create. A real page turner! :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ed Smiley

    Copiously illustrated, this provides a useful schema from which to learn about different periods of art, and a lot of information you can use for reference. The edition that I read was pre-political correctness so that means a history of dead white guy artists. It would be better titled a History of Western Art, although it ends with an apologetic and half hearted nod to Asian art. (for a critical view, see The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art) Needless to say, wh Copiously illustrated, this provides a useful schema from which to learn about different periods of art, and a lot of information you can use for reference. The edition that I read was pre-political correctness so that means a history of dead white guy artists. It would be better titled a History of Western Art, although it ends with an apologetic and half hearted nod to Asian art. (for a critical view, see The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art) Needless to say, whenever you cover such a large territory, you are bound to be forced to leave somebody out, and get slammed for your choices, so I won't belabor the point. Despite this, you can learn a great deal about the history of art, and the author is not entirely neutral in tone, which I consider a plus, as you can then assess the author's opinions yourself. Despite Goodreads, which seems to be hallucinating, this book is not 150 pages, but 767 pages long.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I am so sad they don't have the cover art for this book...it is one of my favorites by Boucicaut Master (ca 1415). The picture is of Adam & Eve and it tells the garden story from beginning to expulsion, to the point where they bring their story to the Master--ensuring HIS place in history. Boccaccio's work de casibus viorum illustratum is related to this piece...and the art looks alike, but Boccaccio was Italian and the Boucicaut master was French. The theme was very popular (The rise and fa I am so sad they don't have the cover art for this book...it is one of my favorites by Boucicaut Master (ca 1415). The picture is of Adam & Eve and it tells the garden story from beginning to expulsion, to the point where they bring their story to the Master--ensuring HIS place in history. Boccaccio's work de casibus viorum illustratum is related to this piece...and the art looks alike, but Boccaccio was Italian and the Boucicaut master was French. The theme was very popular (The rise and fall of illustrious men and women) in the middle ages (see lady fortune's wheel by Boccacio...whose de casibus begins with Adam and Eve). More later after some research link: Getty Boucicaut Master

  12. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Anderson

    Read it if you want the history of men excluding women.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

    A feast for the eyes and the soul.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cssekar Uspl

    Good said the fact I don't know what the story was and what the story was I had

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dusica

    Dzensonova Istorija umetnosti je vec vise od 50 godina ( prvo izdanje 1962 god.) nezaobilazna literatura za buduce istoricare umetnosti, kao i za sve koje interesuje umetnost. Izuzetno sadrzajno delo koje govori, opisuje i povezuje zapadnu umetnost od praistorije do modernog doba. Iznosi karakteristike umetnickih dela, analize perioda, pravaca i doprinosa umetnika. Za samo upoznavanje i osnove o umetnosti, ovo je odlicna knjiga; daje opsti pregled umetnosti i dogadjaja koji su uticali na nju. Za Dzensonova Istorija umetnosti je vec vise od 50 godina ( prvo izdanje 1962 god.) nezaobilazna literatura za buduce istoricare umetnosti, kao i za sve koje interesuje umetnost. Izuzetno sadrzajno delo koje govori, opisuje i povezuje zapadnu umetnost od praistorije do modernog doba. Iznosi karakteristike umetnickih dela, analize perioda, pravaca i doprinosa umetnika. Za samo upoznavanje i osnove o umetnosti, ovo je odlicna knjiga; daje opsti pregled umetnosti i dogadjaja koji su uticali na nju. Za one koji planiraju da postanu strucnjaci u ovoj oblasti, potrebno je dosta dodatne literature, koja je uglavnom na engleskom jeziku.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tamora Pierce

    I think this is one book that every eager-to-learn person who can lift it ought to have. It's a good survey of the history of art; the pictures are stunning, and you'd be amazed at the interesting conversations that result when your five-year-old (someone like, oh, me) discovers the naked ones! Seriously, this book introduced me to art as a child, and I got my own copy years ago. I still refer to it for ideas. No one book can possibly hold all art history, but this is a fabulous home starter edi I think this is one book that every eager-to-learn person who can lift it ought to have. It's a good survey of the history of art; the pictures are stunning, and you'd be amazed at the interesting conversations that result when your five-year-old (someone like, oh, me) discovers the naked ones! Seriously, this book introduced me to art as a child, and I got my own copy years ago. I still refer to it for ideas. No one book can possibly hold all art history, but this is a fabulous home starter edition!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie Nelson

    Actually I read the 5th edition that was revised and expanded by Anthony F. Janson and was published in 1995. I read the book from cover to cover all 903 pages of it. I have been interested in art all my life and this book covers all aspects of it from pre-historic to modern, at least up to 1995 when the book was published. Each period covered is very helpful and clear but necessarily condensed. One should have a good background in art periods to get the most out of it. Now that I have read it a Actually I read the 5th edition that was revised and expanded by Anthony F. Janson and was published in 1995. I read the book from cover to cover all 903 pages of it. I have been interested in art all my life and this book covers all aspects of it from pre-historic to modern, at least up to 1995 when the book was published. Each period covered is very helpful and clear but necessarily condensed. One should have a good background in art periods to get the most out of it. Now that I have read it all I keep it available as a reference book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Blanca Wortham

    This is the best art history book i've read, I had to buy it for school, it doesn't compare to others I've read, super big & heavy! (my edition even more cuz its from the 70's), but totally worth it. =)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    There was no art requirement in high school and I took Theatre at Grinnell College to fulfill their one-course art requirement, so I read this, a common college textbook, to cover the kind of material that I had missed. Since then I've tried one or two other, similar survey books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Welch

    this is the standard must-have of any and all art students. art history isn't just about art, but it is the history of man, civilization and religion. i learned so much more than art in this book (back-the-day in art school). btw, this is still the largest book i have!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey S.

    One of my art history classes in college required this book. Love it so much!

  22. 5 out of 5

    CC

    I am in the process of learning art history and have found this book very useful and interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    A great book for art history buffs.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Le

    ap art history, o how i love thee!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen L.

    This is great for those who really want to understand Art history. It is a college text and great resource book that I have used over the years.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio

    Call Number: 709 JAN Available

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    useful book

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leighkaren

    Great tongue-in-cheek political satire.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Javier

    a beautiful book, excellent on the subject.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    ah, art school. this was my FIRST college text book. i actually read all of my art school text books, still have them, and still use them. i use this one all the time.

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