Art history is a vast discipline, geographically, historically, and intellectually. In its initial centuries, art history dealt with Western art, but the boundaries of the field have since expanded. The canon continues to be redefined as histories of art in regions that had previously been ignored are brought into the mainstream. Traditional emphases on European art have been reduced, as the discipline reaches world-wide dimensions in which connections as much as differences have increasingly come into focus. Originating as a study much informed by ancient art, and then by the art of the Renaissance, the historical dimension of the discipline has also continuously advanced with time. More and more works and types of objects are made throughout the world, and art historians’ interests have increasingly shifted to more recent art. In the past half century art historians have also engaged more and more with questions of theory, method, and the history of the discipline. New approaches, often borrowed from other fields, have proliferated.
As a result of all this flux and ferment, it has become progressively more difficult to grasp the literature of the field, and to gain an orientation to current and perennial problems. Oxford Bibliographies in Art History responds to these needs and offers a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload. Whether an expert in contemporary European art needs to read up on the art of ancient China for a book project or an undergraduate student needs to start a research paper on iconography in Renaissance art, Oxford Bibliographies in Art History will provide a trusted source of selective bibliographic guidance.