The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters

Books and More: 4. Art Historical Materials

This section has three sub-sections -

4.1 Art History

4.2 Art Criticism and Art Theory

4.3 History of Materials, Technical Art History and Conservation Studies

Three asterisks *** denote free materials

4.1 Art History

This short list contains links to articles and art historical texts referenced in the course and a few others that are comprehensive.

Art & Architecture Thesaurus ® Online, The Getty Research Institute ***

Davies, Penelope. Janson's History of Art

Foster, Carter E. Hopper Drawing

Grove Dictionary of Art

Hockney, David. Secret Knowledge

Hockney, David and Martin Gayford. A History of Pictures

Kemp, Martin. The Science of Art

Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Global History

Schwartz, Gary, Ars Moriendi: the mortality of art ***

Sewell, Darrel, ed. Thomas Eakins

Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael Cothren. Art History

4.2 Art Criticism and Art Theory

Many of my advanced students ask about art criticism, art theory and related subjects. For an overview of art criticism see the Wikipedia page on the History of Art Criticism and the related page on Art Criticism.

Goldsmiths, Univerity of London, offers an MA in Contemporary Art Theory. They define the subject as encompassing, "theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art . . . [including] . . . critical theory". They further define the study as an "interdisciplanary. . .academic discourse on visual culture . . . [that] . . . draws from the fields of performance studies, art history, philosophy, museology, queer theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies."  

Regarding "critical theory" see the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The former tells us that critical theory is a "Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. Drawing particularly on the thought of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, critical theorists maintain that a primary goal of philosophy is to understand and to help overcome the social structures through which people are dominated and oppressed."

My students also often ask about the terms "semiotics", "modernism" and "postmodernism". The first concerns "the study of signs and sign-using behaviour." Modernism generally refers to "a period of experimentation in the arts from the late 19th to the mid-20th century" that was characterized by "a break with the past and the concurrent search for new forms of expression". Postmodernism is defined as "a late 20th-century movement characterized by broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power."

Below you'll find a bibliography straddling art criticism, art theory and related subjects.

Arnheim, Rudolf. To the Rescue of Art: Twenty-Six Essays

Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art

Beckley, Bill and David Shapiro, eds., Uncontrollable Beauty: Toward a New Aesthetics

Berger, Maurice ed. The Crisis of Criticism

Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics

Brenson, Michael. Is 'Quality' An Idea Whose Time Has Gone?

Danto, Arthur. Beyond the Brillo Box

Fenstermaker, Will. Ten Essays that Changed Art Criticism Forever ***

Fineberg, Jonathan. Art Since 1940

Foster, Hal, ed. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

Fried, Michael. Art and Objecthood

Gombrich, Ernst. The Story of Art

Greenberg, Clement. Art and Culture: Critical Essays

Hess, Thomas and Elizabeth Baker, eds., Art and Sexual Politics

Hickey, Dave. Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy

_________. The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty

hooks, bell. Art on My Mind: Visual Politics

Hughes, Robert. Nothing If Not Critical

_________. The Shock of the New

Indiana, Gary. Vile Days: The Village Voice Art Columns, 1985-1988

Kramer, Hilton. The Revenge of the Philistines: Art and Culture, 1972-1984

Krauss, Rosalind. The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths

Krimp, Douglas. Before Pictures

Kuspit, Donald. Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries

Lippard, Lucy and John Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art ***

Margolis, Joseph, ed., Philosophy Looks at the Arts

McEvilley, Thomas. Art and Discontent

Nochlin, Linda. Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays

Plagens, Peter. Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-1970

Rose, Barbara, ed. Readings in American Art Since 1900

Rosenberg, Harold. Art on the Edge: Creators and Situations

_________. Artworks and Packages

_________. The Tradition of the New

Rubinstein, Raphael. A Quiet Crisis ***

_________. Where is the Audience for Art Criticism Now? ***

Saltz, Jerry. Learning on the Job ***

Schjeldahl, Peter. The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings of Peter Schjeldahl 1978-1990

Sontag, Susan. Against Interpretation and Other Essays

Storr, Robert. Interviews on Art

Szaìntoì, Andraìs. The Visual Art Critic

Wolfe, Tom. The Painted Word

Youngman, Hennessy (aka Jayson Musson), Art Thoughtz ***

4.3 History of Materials, Technical Art History and Conservation Studies

Berrie , Barbara H, editor. Artists' Pigments, Volume 4

Bomford, David, Sarah Herring, Jo Kirby. Art in the Making: Degas

Bomford, David, Jo Kirby, John Leighton, Ashok Roy. Art in the Making: Impressionism

Bomford, David, Jill Dunkerton, Dillian Gordon, Ashok Roy. Art in the Making: Italian Painting Before 1400

Bomford, David, Jo Kirby, Ashok Roy. Art in the Making: Rembrandt

Bomford, David. Art in the Making: Underdrawings in Renaissance Paintings

Carlyle, Leslie. The Artist's Assistant

Church, A.H. The Chemistry of Paints and Painting ***

_________. The Chemistry of Paints and Painting (hard copy)

Clarke, Mark. The Art of All Colours

Crook, Jo, Tom Lerner. Impact of Modern Paints

Dunkerton, Jill. The Restoration and Technical Examination of Jan Van Eyck's Margaret, the Artist's Wife ***

Eastaugh, Nicholas. Pigment Compendium, A Dictionary and Optical Microscopy of Historical Pigments

Getting, Rutherford J., and George L. Stout. Painting Materials

Harley, R.D., Artists' Pigments c. 1600-1835

Technical Bulletin, National Gallery ***

Stoner, Joyce Hill and Rebecca Rushfield ed. Conservation of Easel Paintings

Thompson, Daniel V. The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting

Townsend, Joyce H. The Materials Used by British Oil Painters in the Nineteenth Century ***

Townsend, Joyce, Jaqueline Ridge and Stephen Hackney. Pre-Raphaelite Painting Techniques

Wallert, Arie, Erma Hermens, and Marja Peek, eds. Historical Painting Techniques, Materials, and Studio Practice ***

Van de Wettering, Ernst. Rembrandt: The Painter at Work

David Brody, 2019, after Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot,

Bridge on the Saôn at Mâcon, 1834

From The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, Lecture 30