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What is Art History?

What is Art History?

Author: Erin Aldana

This lesson will present an overview of the origins of art history.

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What is Art History?

This lesson will introduce the discipline of art history and present a few models for understanding its overall development.

Notes on "What is Art History?"

Terms to Know
Art History

The academic study of the history and development of the visual arts.

Giorgio Vasari

An architect and artist whose Lives of the Artists was the most influential text of the Italian Renaissance.

Johann Winckelmann

An 18th century German scholar who was the first to propose that works of art be analyzed as the products of the culture and time in which they were produced.


The set of rules or philosophy that informs one's approach to understanding art history.

Pliny the Elder

A Roman author and natural historian who included some of the earliest recorded historical descriptions of works of art in his writings.