Few courses strike a reader or student as much as art does. It lies all around us and takes on different forms, including paintings, literature texts, sculptures, drawings, illustrations, and so on. But to truly study art, one must understand where it came from and how it has been shaped over the years.

And to help with that are various textbooks that give different accounts of the history of art. Read on as we discuss the 10 most searched art history books.

The Story of Art 

by E.H. Gombrich

To begin this list, we have a text regarded as the most popular and famous art book ever released to date. This popularity is all down to the book’s long-standing relevance as the perfect text for learning all topics of interest in the art department.

The author, professor Ernest Gombrich, really went to school here as he carefully and skillfully combined his love for the arts with a vast knowledge to produce a clear narrative. From the earliest cave paintings to the different art experiments of today, The Story Of Art is a story worth reading.

Art That Changed the World: Transformative Art Movements and the Paintings That Inspired Them

by DK

Let’s say you’re looking for a textbook along the lines of a guide. Perhaps, an encyclopedia, if you like that, offers an A-Z intensive guide to anything and everything art. Well, DK heard your wish, and with that came this textbook.

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Whether you’re in search of the different artistic events that occurred in history or are currently happening, every section of this massive encyclopedia encompasses in-depth analysis, made visually appealing by alluring images. And just like every encyclopedia, you get a glossary to help you with different art terms and a well-explained index.

Artists: Their Lives and Works

by DK

Still, on the subject of learning art through the years, this textbook gives the reader an exclusive trip down memory lane. Here, the unique artists that have shaped this practice are discussed and celebrated, each with their own story to tell.

From Donatello to Giacometti, this textbook allows you to immerse yourself in the lives, works, achievements, friendships forged, love interests, and even rivalries made by the greatest sculptors and painters that ever lived.

History of Modern Art

by H. Arnason,Elizabeth Mansfield

When looking for knowledge on the history of art, it’s always helpful to have a text that provides a comprehensive overview of the practice in the modern era. That’s exactly what History Of Modern Art delivers.

What happened in the fields of photography, sculpting, calligraphy, architecture, and painting from the mid-nineteenth century up to the present time? Do you have any idea about the events that transformed how we perceive and interact with contemporary art?

Art History Vol 1

by Marilyn Stokstad, Michael W. Cothren

When it comes to art, the major aim of textbooks is to make learning engaging, inclusive, and delightful. Art History Vol. 1 is a text that scores high in these categories as it greatly entails the history of art in a manner and tone that appeals to the new generation.

This textbook woos the reader into developing an interest and love for all things visual art while maintaining the level of serious learning needed. In this book, you can find a host of discoveries, research developments, and different perspectives on the visual arts you know and appreciate.

Art: The Definitive Visual Guide

by Andrew Graham Dixon, DK, Ross King

This visual guide offers a deep dive into the past and a pathway to the history of different vital art movements. From the classical nature of Greek art to the more modern Italian Renaissance, discover the different Pre-Raphaelites and find out who the masters of impressionism were.

Made from the collaboration of Dixon, Andrew Graham, DK, and Bridgeman(the largest art library in the world), the textbook is a visual guide for young art enthusiasts looking for concise teachings about artists and their masterpieces from different points in time.

Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History

by Fred S. Kleiner

Just like museums and art exhibitions are platforms for touring the greatest masterpieces and relics from different points in time, so is Gardner’s Art Through The Ages: A Global History, a paperback grand tour of the major historical events in arts.

From the era of stone to the time of modern technology, this text has served as an introductory piece for art enthusiasts for the past 85 years and counting. As you flip through the chapters, each page welcomes you with a different but equally rich analysis of vital artworks and artists. 

Also, you get quick reviews and overviews that further aid your reading.

AP Art History: 5 Practice Tests + Comprehensive Review + Online Practice (Barron’s Test Prep)

by John B. Nici M.A.

For students looking for quick, helpful prep tools, this textbook is the answer to your search. AP Art History text offers an in-depth content review on various art topics and also gives you a chance to practice for your exams online.

In addition, you get a text written by experienced educators and reviewed by AP experts, all to give you an edge in your upcoming exams. Here, you can discover and develop new strategies, acquire exam tips, and sharpen your test-taking skills with 5 full-length practice tests.

Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition

by Penelope J.E. Davies, Walter B. Denny, Frima Fox Hofrichter, Joseph F. Jacobs, Ann S. Roberts, David L. Simon

If you’re studying an art-related course, this textbook serves as an eye-opener on the different events currently happening in the field of art. From the most recent scholarships to the current pattern of thoughts down to the innovative online supplements, Janson’s History of Art is a digital art library.

Dubbed the classic introduction to the Western World view of art, the eighth edition of this text offers a well-written story of the different historically significant events, how these events are connected, and how they led to the change in art styles.

The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern

by Carol Strickland

This textbook is nothing short of an illustrative tutorial on everything art. Starting from the prehistoric events of the stone age and cave paintings down to the use of video art and digital media.

The textbook features a host of great content, such as essays, instructive sidebars, hundreds of photographs, and so on.