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History Of Art for Young People

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History Of Art for Young People

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Book Name: History of Art for Young People

Author: H.W. Janson and Anthony F. Janson

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

ISBN: 0-8109-4150-3

Cover: Hardcover

# of Pages: 632

Illustrations: Color photos, B & W photos, sketches and maps

Experience Required: Beginner

Book Review

This book is a wide-ranging study of great works of art from the early days of man up to and including Twentieth century photography and Postmodernism.  In the Introduction, the author breaks down the aspects of art (that need considering before reading this book), which are divided into the following categories and sub-categories; Art and the Artist (Imagination, Creativity, Originality and Tradition, Meaning and Style, Self-Expression and Audience, and Tastes) and Looking at Art (The Visual Elements, Line, Color, Light, Composition, Form, and Meaning).  The author also delves into the origins of the processes involved in creating art, which is interesting because it helps the reader to understand the foundations upon which today's artists have formed their craft.

The anecdotes in this book are not limited to art during the periods and countries being represented.  In each chapter there is at least one box in which is a description of other cultural events that coexisted with art at the time (i.e. Baroque Music, Theatre, and Art in Holland, p. 370).

Also of interest are the sketches of designs, building plans, how statues were made and tools used to create various works of art printed in the margins. 

I really like this book because while educating the reader about art it is also entertaining with beautiful images of pieces of art one may never see in actuality.  I felt like I was reading a bunch of short stories about the time periods being outlined for our knowledge.  The authors also make it easy to completely understand the terminology by providing a glossary to explain the terms and concepts with which we are not familiar.  It is a very good book for art lovers and beginners alike.


  • Queen Nefertiti
  • Kore in Dorian Peplos
  • Jacob van Ruisdael The Jewish Cemetary
  • Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux The Dance
  • Berthe Morisot La Lecture (Reading)

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