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9780131057425

History of Art Combined and Revised
History of Art Combined and Revised
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  • ISBN-13: 9780131057425
  • ISBN: 0131057421
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

This edition marks the fortieth anniversary of Janson'sHistory of Art.That is remarkable in itself. No less notable is that until now there have been only two authors: H. W. Janson, who wrote much of the book at the American Academy in Rome, and myself, who took over the revisions upon his death in 1982. Actually, I have been associated with Janson'sHistory of Artsince 1961, when, still in my teens, I proofread much of the original edition over the summer in the Amsterdam office of Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Without that experience, I probably would not have become an art historian. My "apprenticeship" consisted of revising my parents'Story of Painting for Young PeopleandA Basic History of Artunder my father's nominal supervision. Yet, somehow I never really expected to take on the full History of Art, and merely assumed it would be turned over to some famous scholar. Least of all was I prepared to take on the responsibility for it so soon after my father's unexpected death in 1982. Those who have known the book over the years will recognize my increasing contribution, which is now roughly equal to my father's. The original character of the book has inevitably changed in the process--whether for better or worse I leave to the reader to judge. One thing has not changed: Janson'sHistory of Artcontinues to be based on a humanist vision. It makes no claim to have adopted newer theories and approaches to the subject, which I consider perfectly legitimate in their own way. (See "Approaches to Art History" in the Introduction.) The book is still based on the experience of looking at works of art in person and, through thoughtful seeing, understanding what they have to say. Although there have been only two authors, there have now been nearly a dozen different editors who have put red pencil to manuscript over the years. Thus my main objective in this edition was to restore the integrity of voice and style, which had become noticeably frayed by the Sixth Edition, and to give it the directness that characterizes the writing of both authors. I have also made innumerable small factual corrections throughout the book, which specialists will recognize. Toward that end, I engaged Dr. Mary Ellen Soles, who has given me much good advice in the past, to review Part One for errors and provide suggestions that proved extremely helpful. For the same reasons, I also asked modernist Joe Jacobs to contribute entries on Jeff Koons and Andreas Gursky and to suggest other choices, such as Alison Saar. A new feature of this edition is the Primer of Art History by Julia Moore, which provides a handy starting point for understanding the field and its basic concepts, as well as the fundamentals of visual analysis, which had been treated at the end of previous Introductions. Another new feature is extended captions featuring commentaries by a number of the great art historians of the past, as well as some from the present. Although it was not possible to accommodate as many of the founders of the discipline as I would have liked, the intent is to honor the giants on whose shoulders we still stand, whether we admit it or not. Having known quite a few of them personally, it is a privilege for me to quote some of their finest insights. The most significant change in content is Chapter Fourteen, "The Late Renaissance." Its previous title, "Mannerism and Other Trends," was cumbersome as well as misleading. I have chosen to look at the period from the other end of the telescope, so that it now takes the religious art seriously and ties it to the Catholic Reform movement, whose early history I have traced in some detail because it is so little known to most readers. I would like to express my gratitude to my colleague James McGivern for guiding me to the latest literature on the theology of the period, which over the past few years has revolutionized our understanding of the Counter Reformation, as tJanson, Anthony F. is the author of 'History of Art Combined and Revised' with ISBN 9780131057425 and ISBN 0131057421.

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