Art history encompasses the study of the history and development of painting, sculpture and the other visual arts. In this Very Short Introduction, Dana Arnold presents an introduction to the issues, debates, and artefacts that make up art history. Beginning with a consideration of what art history is, she explains what makes the subject distinctive from other fields of study, and also explores the emergence of social histories of art (such as Feminist Art History and Queer Art History). Using a wide range of images, she goes on to explore key aspects of the discipline including how we write, present, read, and look at art, and the impact this has on our understanding of art history.
This second edition includes a new chapter on global art histories, considering how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles in art originated in western art and can obscure other critical approaches and artwork from non-western cultures. Arnold also discusses the relationship between art and history, and the ways in which art can tell a different history from the one narrated by texts.