Art Literature

Art Book Recommendations

Do you want to be reading the best books on art? we’ve got you covered. Browse through our expert recommendations…

1. The Story of Art – Ernst Gombrich

If you’re interested in the history of art, this book is for you. Gombrich takes you on a journey through time taking a look at the very beginning of art. He goes right back to 3000 B.C when Egyptians painted on caves as a way of communicating. It will give insights into what made art important, the overall context of art and all the different types of art/ artists. Gombrich has a very readable style of writing that gives informative details in an easy-to-understand explanation.

2. Abstract Art: A Global History – Pepe Karmel

This book also dives straight into the long history of art, specifically focusing on abstract art. It’s evident that Karmel has done his research – this volume is filled with factual information and evidence surrounding art. He looks at many different canonical artists and gives insights into their lives and works in this book, such as Kandinsky, Mondrian to Pollock. But many others from around the world too! He gives his own rational and realistic opinions written on abstract art in a clear and concise way that is easy to understand.

3. The Art Book (Revised and Expanded) – Phaidon Editors

This book is extremely popular and has been translated into over 20 languages, so people from all corners of the world can enjoy it. It was published in 2020 and is a revised version of the original – it adds at least 100+ artists as well as a huge amount of detailed information. It features work from more than 600 of the world’s greatest artists! From medieval to modern times. So you can learn about the history of art and follow its development to the present day.

4. Art That Changed the World: Transformative Art Movements and the Paintings That Inspired Them – DK

If you’re more of a visual person then this book is for you. It presents over 2,500+ spectacular paintings and sculptures from 700+ artists. It looks at many key artists in history to the modern-day, including the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Monet’s, Michelangelo, Damien Hirst and so many more artists from all over the world. Whilst this book mainly focuses on classical/European/Renaissance art there are still parts dedicated to impressionism art etc too. So, all art-lovers can be satisfied with this book. And there’s A LOT of content inside!

5. Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD Paperback by Leah Guzman

This book takes a completely different approach to art than any of the listed before. Guzman looks at how you can use art to heal so it becomes more than a creative outlet. She gives insights into how art can help people gain confidence, self-awareness and process trauma. She does this by giving examples and guidance to different art therapies that you can practice and how it helped her in her healing process. A must-read if you’re struggling with any mental health problems and have a passion for art!

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