This book is an introduction to historical study of art. Sixteen problematic essays do not follow any chronological or geographical order of styles and schools, they treat of important cultural, political, religious issues, present in the history of art and images of all times and on all continents. They propose several points of view on precise works of art, objects, images, monuments in their precise historical context and background. All essays are illustrated by hundreds of visual documents and artifacts from East to West, from antiquity to our days, by etchings, paintings, sculptures and buildings of great masters — Leonardo, Rubens, Borromini, van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Pollock, Gabo, but also of less known or anonymous authors. All this material is analyzed with modern methods of art history and cultural studies.
The book adresses scholars and students in humanistic disciplines and all readers interested in cultural history.