This classic book uses an exceptional art program, featuring impeccable accurate five-color illustrations, to introduce readers to the vast world of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, and the minor arts. With its effectively written, balanced, and interesting narrative, this book presents art as a succession of styles—from Prehistory through the Middle Ages—and enlarges the readers' capacity to appreciate works of art individually. Written more than 40 years ago, this book has been constantly reworked to respond to the needs of this ever-changing field. This Volume contains Chs. 1-11 of the Combined volume, focusing on the art of the Ancient World through the Middle Ages: Prehistoric Art; Egyptian Art; Ancient Near Eastern Art; Aegean Art; Greek Art; Etruscan Art; Roman Art; Early Christian and Byzantine Art; Early Medieval Art; Romanesque Art; and Gothic Art. A reference work suitable for those employed in all art media, including painters, sculptors, photographers, and architects.
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H.W. JANSON is a legendary name in art history. During his long career as a teacher and scholar, he helped define the discipline in the United States through his impressive books and other publications. History of Art, for which he is best known, has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
ANTHONY F. JANSON forged a distinguished career as a university teacher, scholar and writer, and museum professional. He took over authorship of History of Art and Basic History of Art after his father's death in 1982.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
This edition marks the fortieth anniversary of Janson's History 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's History of Art since 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 People and A Basic History of Art under 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's History of Art continues 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 the movement is also known, and to David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University, for reading the chapter to ensure its accuracy. I have also rearranged Early Renaissance art according to genres instead of chronological sequence, which many readers found confusing. Finally, I have followed the reinterpretation of Etruscan funerary art initiated in recent years by German and English art historians, which gives new meaning to this fascinating subject.
I have undertaken the task of adding the historical setting systematically to the text wherever it is relevant, rather than solely for its own sake—lest it float irrelevantly like fat on top of chicken soup (as Gustav Mahler's music was once aptly described) without mixing with the art itself. Most of this background is to be found in Parts One and Two, although a large amount of the historical framework has also been supplied for several chapters in Part Three. Because I was a history major as an undergraduate, it is the one thing I have always felt this book needed most, along with a proper representation of women and minority artists, which I have added over the years. My approach to history emphasizes people and events that have affected art history , rather than social history. While admirable in itself, social history too often ignores the work of art by focusing exclusively on context, while adding more background material than most readers and students can assimilate. As in previous editions, the history of music and theater is treated in separate "boxes" within chapters for those who share my enthusiasm for these art forms. Several of them have been updated, especially those on twentieth-century music owing to my "discovery" of the work of a number of composers, particularly Shostakovich's chamber music.
I want to correct a serious but unintentional omission from the preface to the Sixth Edition. My former student Gregory Plow wrote an independent study paper under me on Raphael's Stanza della Segnatura frescoes, which led me to rethink their meaning. While we reached somewhat different conclusions, his help was invaluable, not only in digging up research that was sometimes hard to find, but also in bouncing ideas off each other. This experience was wonderfully stimulating and rewarding for both of us, and represents the finest ideal of teaching, which was first established by Plato at the grove of Akademia outside Athens.
There is a larger debt as well. Plow and his closest friend, David Myers, who wrote an equally splendid honor's thesis under me on Thomas Cole's "The Cross of the World," inspired me to rethink the meaning of Christianity and its contribution to the art and culture of the past, which gave rise to the sweeping changes in the chapter on the Late Renaissance and elsewhere in this edition A great deal of religious art in the West is badly misunderstood because many art historians, it is safe to say, are nonbelievers. They include Christianity as part of iconography and history without accepting it or comprehending it in spiritual terms, especially in the terms it was understood by the faithful as it evolved over time and space. Good students learn from good teachers. Fortunately, the reverse is true, too: Good teachers learn from good students. It is thus with great pleasure that I can at last properly acknowledge the contribution of two of my best pupils.
This edition marks the passing of an era in several important respects. La Martiniere Groupe, which purchased Harry N. Abrams, Inc., from the Los Angeles Times-Mirror Corporation several years ago, recently sold the textbook division to Prentice Hall, Inc., which has distributed this and other Abrams books to the college market from the beginning of the association between the two firms in 1962, which was brought about by the publication of Janson's History of Art. Then in June 2002, Paul Gottlieb, Abrams' long-time publisher, who built the company into what it became and was its very heart and soul, died unexpectedly. He was a reassuring presence as long as he was still associated, however distantly, with Abrams. He passed away shortly after accepting the opportunity to lead the photography publisher Aperture. Paul was more than my publisher. He was a friend and ally to whom I could turn for advice on the most sensitive professional and personal matters. When the occasional differences of opinion arose, we simply agreed to disagree, even after the most heated exchange. All of us who knew him well feel a gaping hole that stubbornly refuses to close.
I want to express my gratitude to the many people of who have worked so hard on this book. Above all I want to acknowledge Julia Moore, Director of the Textbook Division at Abrams for more than ten years, who has been an important muse and intellectual collaborator for me. She understands what makes Janson unique and has maintained that standard against the odds. In this edition; Julia was assisted in-house by a most gifted editorial assistant, Julia Chmaj, who I am sure will one day make her own mark as an art historian, and who handled even the most difficult chores calmly and ably; and by freelance copy editor Margaret Oppenheimer. Beth Tondreau of Beth Tondreau Design was the art director of this beautiful edition and directed its production, which maintains the high quality of the past. I also want to thank Barbara Lyons, now retired, who for many editions went out of her way to procure some extremely rare photographs. Equally resourceful and dogged in pursuing images was Laurie Platt Winfrey of Carousel Research, which was responsible for assembling the illustrations and reproduction rights. My sincere appreciation goes to the many others at Prentice Hall and Abrams, who are too numerous to include here but who are listed in the masthead, for their invaluable contributions to the success of this edition, which I believe is the best one yet.
A. F. J.
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Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 6. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0131056840