The Books That Shaped Art History

In advance of the Research Forum’s panel discussion and book launch this Thursday (details below) celebrating the publication of The Books That Shaped Art History, we thought we’d mention that all of the books discussed are available to consult or borrow from the Book Library.

Book cover

In chronological order they are;

  • Emile Mâle’s L’art religieux du XIIe siècle en France: étude sur les origines de l’iconographie du moyen age can be found at Z7475 MAL as well as personal copies in the Johannes Wilde and John Sherman bequests.
  • Bernhard Berenson’s The drawings of the Florentine painters: classified, criticised and studied as documents in the history and appreciation of Tuscan art, with a copious catalogue raisonné is located at C256.FLO BER.
  • Heinrich Wölfflin’s Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe: das Problem der Stilentwickelung in der neueren Kunst can be found at Z7430 WOE as well as personal copies in the Johannes Wilde and Count Antoine Seilern bequests.
  • Roger Fry’s Cézanne: a study of his development is available at D553.CEZ FRY.
  • Nikolaus Pevsner’s Pioneers of modern design: from William Morris to Walter Gropius can be found at Z6450 PEV.
  • Alfred H. Barr’s Matisse, his art and his public is located at D553.MAT BAR.
  • Erwin Panofsky’s Early Netherlandish painting: its origins and character is available at D665 PAN as well as a copy in the Johannes Wilde bequest.
  • Kenneth Clark’s The nude: a study in ideal form is available at Z7434 CLA as well as a copy in the Johannes Wilde bequest.
  • E.H. Gombrich’s Art and illusion: a study in the psychology of pictorial representation can be found at Z7430 GOM.
  • Clement Greenberg’s Art and culture: critical essays is located at Z7430 GRE.
  • Francis Haskell’s Patrons and painters: a study in the relations between Italian art and society in the age of the Baroque can be found at Z8380 HAS as well as two personal copies in the Anthony Blunt bequest.
  • Michael Baxandall’s Painting and experience in fifteenth century Italy: a primer in the social history of pictorial style is available at D615 BAX.
  • T.J. Clark’s Image of the people: Gustave Courbet and the 1848 Revolution is located at D553.COU CLA.
  • Svetlana AlpersThe art of describing: Dutch art in the seventeenth century can be found at D646 ALP.
  • Rosalind E. KraussThe originality of the avant-garde and other modernist myths is located at Z6490 KRA.
  • Hans Belting’s Bild und Kult: eine Geschichte des Bildes vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst is available at Z7475 BEL.

And of course, The books that shaped art history: from Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss edited by Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard is available at Z5305 BOO.

Panel Discussion and Book Launch
18.00, Thursday 31 October 2013

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN London

Which were the key books to have shaped art history over the twentieth century? Why were they so important and what have their legacies been? This panel discussion will focus on three of the most influential art historians of the past 100 years – Erwin Panofksy, Kenneth Clark and Michael Baxandall – before broadening into a wider discussion about the state of art history today.

Celebrating the recent publication of The Books that Shaped Art History by Thames & Hudson, the event will include short papers by Professor Susie Nash on Panofksy’s Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origin and Character (1953), John-Paul Stonard on Clark’s The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art (1956) and Professor Paul Hills on Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy (1972).

Former Courtauld Director Eric Fernie will then lead a panel discussion on art historiography to consider the questions and controversies raised both by these books and the other seminal texts that have helped to define the discipline.

Speakers: Eric Fernie; Paul Hills,Susie Nash and John-Paul Stonard (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

The event will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Organised by Susie Nash (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Open to all, free admission

Susie Nash is Deborah Loeb Brice Professor of Renaissance Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she has taught for the last 20 years. She has published several books on late medieval and Renaissance art including Between France and Flanders. Manuscript Illumination in Amiens in the Fifteenth Century (British Library and Toronto University Press, 1999); Northern Renaissance Art (Oxford University Press, 2008), Late Medieval Panel Painting. Materials, Making and Meaning (Paul Holberton 2011) and a series of major articles on Claus Sluter’s ‘Well of Moses’ in The Burlington Magazine (2005,2006,2008).


Paul Hills studied the History of Art at the University of Cambridge and The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. After teaching for many years at Warwick University, he returned in 2003 to The Courtauld Institute as Professor of Renaissance Art. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York, at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, as well as the Royal College of Art in London. On his retirement in 2012 he was made Emeritus Professor at The Courtauld Institute of Art. His publications include The Light of Early Italian Painting, 1987, and Venetian Colour: Marble, Mosaic, Painting and Glass, 1999, (both Yale University Press). He is currently completing a book on Curtains, Veils and Drapery in the Renaissance.


John-Paul Stonard is a critic and historian of art. He studied at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where he has subsequently worked as a Visiting Lecturer, specialising in modern German art. From 2010-11 he was a Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. He has published widely in the field of twentieth-century art, and is a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine, Artforum and the Times Literary Supplement.

Eric Fernie is a historian of the architecture of the Middle Ages, whose books include Art History and its Methods (1995) and The Architecture of Norman England (2000). Before retiring he was Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art.