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ARTH 100 (History of Art) Course Guide: Find Books & eBooks

This guide will help you find books, articles, and websites on art history. The guide was created to support students in Art 100.

Search for Books and eBooks from Columbia College Library


  • Search using words that might appear in the title, summary or subjects of a book
  • Try searching for artist's names rather than specific artworks
  • Try broadening your search to the artistic movement they are associated with (eg impressionism). Or try the era of art history (eg Renaissance), or the country of creation.  

Print Books on Individual Artists

Cover image of Bosch

Location: 759.9492 DIX 2003

Cover image of Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch
Location: 759.9492 BOS BEC 1994

Cover image of Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Laughter

Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Laughter
Location:  759.9492 GIB 2006

Cover image of Courbet

Location:  759.4 RUB 1997

Cover image of David

Location: 795.4 LEE 1999

Cover image of Dürer

Location: 759.3 SMI 2012

Cover image of Friedrich

Location:  759.3 VAU 2004

Cover image of Hogarth

Location: 759.2 HAL 2000

Cover image of Monet and Impressionism

Monet and Impressionism
Location: 759.054 MON 1997

Cover image of Monet's Years at Giverny

Monet's Years at Giverny
Location: 795.4 MON

Cover image of Rembrandt

​Location:  759.9492 BOC 2016

Cover image of Rembrandt: the Painter Thinking

Rembrandt: the Painter Thinking
Location: 759.9492 VAN 2016

Cover image of Rembrandt

Location: 759.9492 WES 2000

Cover image of Rubens

Location: 759.9493 BEL 1998

Cover image of Turner

Location: 759.2 TUR 2003

Cover image of Vermeer

Location: 759.9492 FRA 2015

Cover image of Vermeer

Location: 759.9492 WHE 1997

Cover image of Van Gogh

Van Gogh
Location: 759.9492 VAN GRU 1994

Modern Art Books

Cover image of Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol is hailed as the most important proponent of the Pop art movement.

Cover image of Futurism


Futurism, the brainchild in 1909 of Italian writer and cultural impresario F.T. Marinetti, was the defining avant-garde art movement of the early twentieth century.

Cover image of Pop Art

Pop Art

Follows the development of Pop art to its rise in popularity as an art form that celebrated the glamour and hedonism of the newly commercialized Western world.

Cover image of Postmodernism


An introduction to the intellectual movement known as Postmodernism and its impact on the visual arts.

cover image of Pop Art and the Origins of Post-Modernism

Pop Art and the Origins of Post-Modernism

Examines the critical reception of Pop Art in America during the 1960s.

The American Century

Provides a compelling panorama of art in America in this century and presents a spectacular exploration of America's national identity as seen through the eyes of its artists.

Art of the 20th Century

Ranging across the full spectrum of disciplines available this readable and encyclopedic survey highlights relationships between works and movements of the 20th century.

100 Contemporary Artists

A comprehensive compendium of contemporary art at the beginning of the 21st century. This book brings together the most outstanding, influential artists of the time.

Art of the 20th Century

A vivid window into the collective psyche of the modern world's great artists.

Ancient Greek and Roman Art

A History of Roman Art

A wide-ranging survey of the subject from the founding of Rome to the rule of Rome's first Christian emperor, Constantine.

A History of Greek Art

Explores the rich historical, cultural, and social contexts of 3,000 years of Greek art, from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period.

The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture

Includes thirty essays, in addition to the introduction, by an international team of leading senior scholars, who have played a critical role in shaping the field, and by younger scholars, who will express the perspectives of a newer generation.

Roman Art and Archaeology

Explores the art of ancient Rome in the context of political intrigue, military and religious ideologies, and intercultural interaction.

The Sculptures of the Parthenon

Provides a complete overview of current knowledge about the sculptures of the Parthenon and suggests new interpretations of the ancient temple's sculptural creations.

Gender and the Body in Greek and Roman Sculpture

An exploration of ancient art, gender and sexuality in antiquity.

Early Greek Portraiture

This book lends new insight into the origins of civic honorific portraits that emerged at the end of the fifth century BC in ancient Greece.

Islamic Art

Islamic Art and Architecture 

Embracing over a thousand years of history and an area stretching from the Atlantic to the borders of India and China, this is an unrivaled synthesis of the arts of Islamic civilization. This book traces the evolution of an extraordinary range of art forms, including architecture, calligraphy, book illumination, painting, ceramics, glassware, textiles, and metalwork. 

Art of Islam

Multicultural and multi-ethnical, this polymorphic and highly spiritual art, in which all representation of Man and God were prohibited, developed canons and various motives of great decorative value.

Islamic Art and Architecture

Traces the development of Islamic art and architecture from the Umayyad dynasty to the present day. Readers will learn about the art of the Fatimids, Seljuqs, Mamluks, Mongols, Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals, and more.

Envisioning Islamic Art and Architecture : Essays in Honor of Renata Holod

A collection of studies on the portable arts, arts of the book, painting, photography, and architecture spanning the medieval and modern periods and across the historical Islamic lands.

Perspectives on early Islamic art in Jerusalem

Analyzes early Islamic monuments on the Haram al-Sharif, or the Temple Mount: the Dome of the Chain, and the capitals with figures of eagles in the Dome of the Rock.

Islamic Arts and Crafts: an Anthology

Explores numerous aspects of the crafts of the Middle East from the processing of raw materials to the manufacture of finished artefacts.

The shaping of Persian art

While the impact of the Persian style is undeniably reflected in most aspects of the art and architecture of Islamic Central Asia, this Perso-Central Asian connection was chiefly formed and articulated by the Euro-American movement of collecting and interpreting the art and material culture of the Persian Islamic world in modern times.

The Origins of Visual Culture in the Islamic World

Focusing on painting and architectural works such as the first Fatimid mosque in al-Mahdiyya, Tunisia.

The Formation of Islamic Art

 The essays in this book seek to explore Islamic art through themes such as architecture, ornament, luxury art, and attitudes towards images.

Renaissance Art Books

History of Italian Renaissance Art

Provides an extended list of considered works and draws on the latest research to provide a thorough examination of the development of Italian Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture.

Larousse Encyclopedia of Renaissance and Baroque Art

Includes over 1,000 illustrations from 400 years of European art, chronicling the art and development of mankind during the Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, the Later Renaissance, and Baroque eras

The Great Masters:  Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian

Includes biographies and gossip about each artist, as well as colour reproductions of their works. 

Art in Renaissance Italy

Evelyn Welch shows how the traditional story of the Renaissance has altered in the light of recent findings, greatly enriching our understanding of the period and specifically the everyday lives of contemporary Italians.

Making Renaissance Art​

This book explores key themes in the making of Renaissance painting, sculpture, architecture, and prints: the use of specific techniques and materials, theory and practice, change and continuity in artistic procedures, conventions and values.

Viewing Renaissance Art

This book focuses on the values, priorities, and motives of patrons and the purposes and functions of art works produced north and south of the Alps and in post-Byzantine Crete.

Italian Renaissance Art

 A vibrant and engaging presentation of Renaissance art history that is supported by up-to-date scholarship and methodology.

Asian Art

Chinese Art

Dealing not only with architecture, sculpture, and painting, but also with bronze and ceramics, this text offers a complete panorama of Chinese arts and civilisation.

Art of India

Characterised by its elegance, splendor, and Persian and European influences, Mughal Art manifests itself equally well in architecture and painting as in decorative art.

Early Buddhist Art of China and Central Asia

Presenting new studies on the chronology and iconography of Buddhist art during the Western Ch'in (385-431 A.D.) in northwest China, including Ping-ling ssu and Mai-chi shan, this book addresses issues of dating, textual sources, the five-Buddhas, and relation with Gandhara.

Indian Painting From Cave Temples to the Colonial Period

This fascinating volume presents the art form for non-specialists, surveying the most notable styles and periods of Indian painting and offering an introduction to the legends and historic personalities that inspire its entertaining subjects.


Central Asian Art

A tour through Central Asia - Khirgizia, Tadjikistan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan - a cradle of Ancient civilisations and a repository of the Oriental arts inspired by Buddhism and Islam.

The History and Spirit of Chinese Art

Moves through the dynastic landmarks of Chinese artistic development with discussions of numerous art forms including paintings, architecture, dance and music, calligraphy, and literature.

From Stone to Paper: Architecture as History in the Late Mughal Empire

This book provides the first in-depth look at this crucial period of architectural history. Discussing a rich array of built forms and urban spaces—from grand imperial mosques to Delhi’s bustling thoroughfares—the volume sheds light on long-overlooked buildings. 


Hinduism and the Religious Arts

No study of either ancient or contemporary Indian culture can be undertaken without a clear understanding of Hindu visual arts and their sources in religious belief and practice.

Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museum 

Explores the history of jade, including in-depth entries on over one hundred objects. 

Arts of Japan

An account of the history of Japanese art which deals with the crafts as well as with the so-called fine arts and carry the story of Japanese art up to the present day

The Art of Contemporary China

This book redefines contemporary Chinese art in the last forty years since the end of China's Cultural Revolution, placing it in the context of unprecedented cultural, political and urban transformation. 

Open Access eBooks from the Met Museum

eBooks on Individual Artists



Da Vinci


Fra Angelico

Francisco Goya



Michelangelo: the Artist, the Man, and his Times


Claude Monet


Peter Paul Rubens

The Life and Masterworks of J.M.W. Turner

Vermeer and His Time

Art Movements, Genres, and Styles


In cubist visual artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form -- instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.


Analysing the founding elements of the movement, the author follows, through the works of each of the artists, how the demand for individuality gave rise to modern painting.


Neoclassicism is a historical tradition or aesthetic attitude based on the art of Greece and Rome in antiquity.


This book is devoted to representations of the nude by great artists from antiquity and the Italian Renaissance to French Impressionism and contemporary art; from Botticelli and Michelangelo to Cézanne, Renoir, Picasso and Botero.


Post-Impressionists extended Impressionism while rejecting its limitations: they continued using vivid colors, thick application of paint, distinctive brush strokes, and real-life subject matter, but they were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, to distort form for expressive effect, and to use unnatural or arbitrary color.


Charts the rise and fall of the Rococo movement, from the beginning of the 18th century to its plunge into obscurity, before being restored to the radiance of its golden age a century later.


Romanticism was a reaction against the Neoclassicism that invaded the nineteenth century, and marked a veritable intellectual rupture.


Surrealist artists delve into the subconscious and revel in juxtapositions of bizarre, unrelated objects. This book introduces the movement's key figures and their works, as well as exploring Surrealism's legacy. 

Abstract Art

Traces the origins and evolution of abstract art, placing it in broad cultural context. 

The Self Portrait 

Investigates seven centuries of self-portraiture and casts fresh light on the international appeal of this genre. Examines the historical contexts within which self-portraits developed, and considers the significance of self-portraiture today. 

Christian and Byzantine Art

Byzantine Art

Endowed with the rich heritage of Roman, Eastern and Christian cultures, Byzantine artists developed an architectural and pictorial tradition, marked by symbolism, whose influence extended far beyond the borders of the Empire.

Early Christian and Byzantine Art

This book presents an appreciation of early Christian and Byzantine Art as a sublime expression of religious thought and feeling.

Christian Art : A Very Short Introduction

Explores the changing nature of the representation of key themes and subjects found in Christian art, covering the Eucharist, the crucifixion, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.

Byzantine Art

Mostly religious in function, but preserving the classicism of Greco-Roman art, Byzantine buildings and art objects communicate the purity and certainties of the public face of early Christian art.

Christ in Art

The Biblical Saviour is not a static, immaterial deity: Christ's mortal birth, unusual life and dramatic death make him an accessible subject for religious and secular artists alike. Whether they show the spirituality of God Incarnate or the earthly characteristics of a flesh-and-blood man.

Understanding Early Christian Art

Understanding Early Christian Art offers an insightful, erudite, and lavishly illustrated analysis of the meaning and message of early Christianity as revealed in the texts and images of the early Christians.

Medieval and Gothic Art

Gothic Art

Gothic art finds its roots in the powerful architecture of the cathedrals of northern France. It is a medieval art movement that evolved throughout Europe over more than 200 years.

Experiencing Medieval Art

The author considers functional objects as well as paintings and sculptures; the circumstances, processes, and materials of production; the conflictual relationship between art objects and notions of an ineffable deity; the context surrounding medieval art; and questions of apprehension, aesthetics, and modern presentation.

Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work

This book presents a survey of manuscript illumination throughout Europe from the fourth to the sixteenth century. It discusses the social and historical context of the illuminators' lives and considers their methods of work. 

Early Italian Painting

Vacillating between the majesty of the Greco-Byzantine heritage and the modernity forecasted by Giotto, Early Italian painting summarises the first steps that led to the Renaissance.

Sculptural Seeing

Although perspective has long been considered one of the essential developments of Renaissance painting, this provocative new book shifts the usual narrative back centuries, showing that medieval sculptors were already employing knowledge of optical science, geometry, and theories of vision in shaping the beholder’s experience of their work.

Medieval Art

Stylistic and iconographic issues and themes are dealt with clearly, and the author presents medieval art in an aesthetic and social context so that it can be fully understood and appreciated. This book consists of twelve chapters and covers the period from the second to the fifteenth centuries.

A Companion to Medieval Art

Covers reception, formalism, Gregory the Great, pilgrimage art, gender, patronage, marginalized images, the concept of spolia, manuscript illumination, stained glass, Cistercian architecture, art of the crusader states, and more.

Baroque Art

Baroque Art

Baroque art was artists' response to the Catholic Church's demand for solemn grandeur following the Council of Trent, and through its monumentality and grandiloquence it seduced the great European courts.

A Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art

Presents a comprehensive collection of interdisciplinary essays that address major aspects of European visual arts produced from approximately 1300 to 1700, a period of artistic flourishing that many consider the beginning of modern history.


Describes the essential characteristics of the Baroque which help one to gain an understanding of the style.

A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600 - 1750 

This book features seventy paintings, with choice works by the school's few well-known painters. 


African Art

The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art

This book showcases 110 objects from the Dallas Museum of Art's world-renowned African collection.

African Art

Since the discovery of African art at the end of the nineteenth century during the colonial expositions it has been a limitless source of inspiration for artists who, over time, have perpetually recreated these artworks.

The Power of Gold

Focuses on a dazzling array of adornments and implements used by Asante royals and officials during the 18th century to the present day-providing a deeper understanding of the history, traditions, and visual arts of the Asante people, one of the thriving cultures of West Africa.

Traditional African Art

This illustrated study of traditional African art includes pieces from Western Sudan, the Congolese Basin, the Guinea coast, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and East and South Africa.

Yoruba art and language : seeking the African in African art

Offers new insights into Yoruba art and material culture by examining them within the context of the civilization's cultural norms and values and, above all, the Yoruba language.

Egyptian Art

This book introduces some of the most important Egyptian masterpieces, dating from the Old Kingdom during the third millennium BCE through to the Roman Period. 

Contemporary African Art

Contemporary African art has grown out of the diverse history and cultural heritage of a continent. This book examines the major themes, developments, and accomplishments in African art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.