This is the second time I've read it since it's a staple in our high school curriculum so I'm just copying my previous review here as it's just as true now as it was the first time I read it a few years ago. There was so much detail that I had forgotten that it was a joy to reread and I look forward to reading it again in a few more years.
I have to start out by saying that I enjoy looking at the masterpieces and have been known to go to art museums from time to time but had really no clue about what brought about the changes in styles that we see through the centuries. This was an incredible book for me to read in that it detailed how each style of art learned from and then grew from the previous. It wove in not only the art and artists but the politics of the time that influenced what, how, and why they did it. The book was of course filled with pictures to show us the details of things as art moved from cave drawings to modern day (that being the 1970s for this edition) but more than telling us "Hey, this is great art and you should like it", it told us what the art meant to the people of the time, to the artist that created it. Did I like everything I saw in the book? No. There were pieces that did not appeal to me but at least now I can look at them and have a basic understanding of what it represents. I also admired the way he added to the end in the later editions to tell of new discoveries or show how things had changed from the previous edition and to show how trends had altered yet again.
This is yet another time when I am so glad to be homeschooling. This is a book that I never would have picked up on my own but I truly feel that my life has been enriched by reading it and learning from it and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to better understand the history of art.
Page count: 637p/15,822p ytd/160,242p lifetime