What is Art History?

Art History is such a vast subject that those who are studying it will often specialise in one era or type of art. It is also known as art historiography and looks at the visual arts. It is concerned with interpreting, classifying and describing various works of art including paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture and many more besides.

There are two aims in art history research. The first of these is to find out who created the art work and to authenticate it. Other points that can be established during the research include determining the what stage the object was created, to determine if other artists had an influence and to find out more about the life and works of the artist. The second is to understand the style and the development of the various artistic traditions. The study of art history may include iconography and the study of religious symbolism. An important factor is attribution, which looks at authenticating the works and looking at works that have a similar nature or character to determine if they can be attributed to the same artist. This has helped to build up an understanding of art traditions.

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