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History of Art
 
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H.W. Janson
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History of Art

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  21,660 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Back in the early 1970s, "Janson"--as History of Art is universally known--was a hefty but manageable 616 pages, illustrated mostly with black-and-white photographs. It also famously contained not a single work by a female artist and devoted a scant eight pages to non-Western art. Five editions and three decades later, the art history student's Stone Age-to-20th-century Bi ...more
Hardcover, 5th, 1000 pages
Published August 31st 2000 by Multy (first published 1962)
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Artemisia there are plenty of pdf versions online. just google it! if you haven't already find it.
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Books Ring Mah Bell
Feb 18, 2008 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-arts
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.
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".
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
...more
Dave
Aug 20, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 ...more
Cindy
Aug 15, 2010 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Carl
Oct 25, 2011 Carl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
...more
Kristen
May 14, 2008 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-or-design
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 ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
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
...more
Erik Graff
Dec 22, 2009 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art fans
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: art
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.
Theresa Anderson
May 26, 2016 Theresa Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read it if you want the history of men excluding women.
Dorothy
Sep 29, 2008 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art lovers
Shelves: art
A feast for the eyes and the soul.
Tamora Pierce
Oct 24, 2008 Tamora Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: families, art students, writers, artists, people with wide-ranging intellects
Recommended to Tamora by: my mother didn't exactly recommend it
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 ...more
Nathalie Nelson
Aug 20, 2009 Nathalie Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Blanca Wortham
Nov 07, 2007 Blanca Wortham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. =)
Jennifer Welch
Mar 30, 2007 Jennifer Welch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fine art students, history buffs
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!
Lindsey S.
Aug 29, 2007 Lindsey S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves art
One of my art history classes in college required this book. Love it so much!
CC
Feb 26, 2009 CC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am in the process of learning art history and have found this book very useful and interesting.
Kathy
Oct 09, 2008 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves art
Recommended to Kathy by: college class
Shelves: art-history
A great book for art history buffs.
Linda Le
Oct 12, 2010 Linda Le rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ap art history, o how i love thee!
Karen L.
Apr 02, 2008 Karen L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, non-fiction
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.
Andrea
Feb 03, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
useful book
Leighkaren
Feb 17, 2011 Leighkaren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great tongue-in-cheek political satire.
Javier
Feb 23, 2010 Javier rated it it was amazing
a beautiful book, excellent on the subject.
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.
Erika Mulvenna
Nov 30, 2007 Erika Mulvenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Art History Nerds
Shelves: art
Okay, this book is freaking huge, and I have not read the whole thing cover-to-cover.
John
Aug 23, 2011 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janson's is the standard art history for a reason.
MH
Apr 13, 2011 MH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this from cover-to-cover in the 70's. Very readable, a great reference. Bought my own copy after finishing my friend's copy. A must-have reference.
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Horst Waldemar Janson, who published as H. W. Janson, was a Russian-American scholar of art history best known for his History of Art, which was first published in 1962 and has sold more than two million copies in fifteen languages.
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