Classic Art History Books
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Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects by Giorgio Vasari (Amazon link to abridged version, Amazon link to full version).
- This is an absolute classic, widely recognized as the first great art history book. Giorgio Vasari describes in great detail the most famous artists from the Renaissance and a couple of centuries before that. If you are very serious about art history, the full version is a beautiful copy to get. But it's so full of information of lists of artworks that each artist made, that it is hard to get through. Luckily, there are very good abridged versions available, which are much more readable and suitable for most readers.
- This is probably the most popular textbook on art history. With 90,000 words and many illustrations, it covers art history from the beginning till the end. It is very rich in information and gives you a great foundation on understanding art and its history.