This anthology of readings related to Western art history explains specific works of art illustrated in Janson'sHistory of Artand De la Croix and Tansey'sGardner's Art Through the Agesin terms of the ideas, beliefs, and concerns of the people and cultures who created the art. It brings a new understanding of art because it shows the social and cultural basis of major works of art through history. The ten sections are Ancient Near East; Egyptian; Aegean; Greek; Etruscan; Roman; early Christian, Byzantine, and Islamic; early Medieval; Romanesque; and Gothic. The readings have been drawn from many areas of intellectual and social history, including religion, philosophy, literature, science, economics, and law. Each selection is preceded by an introductory note, which discusses the readings in terms of its subject and theme, its source and usage, and its relevance to the study of the work of art.
Linnea H. Wren is assistant professor of art at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and is the editor of Perspectives on Western Art (Volume 2): Source Documents and Readings from the Renaissance to the 1970s (1994).