How Is Art History Different From History?

Art|Art History

Art History is the study of objects or images from the past, and it is different from regular history in that it focuses on visual media. It looks at how artwork was created, who created it, and how it has changed over time. Art History also looks at how artwork has been interpreted and how it has affected society.

One key difference between Art History and regular history is that Art History does not focus solely on written records. Instead, it looks at all forms of visual expression, including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, film, performance art, and digital media. This means that Art History can explore a wider range of topics than regular history.

Art History also looks at the context in which art was created and received. This includes looking into the political and social environment in which an artwork was made or exhibited. It also examines the influence of patrons on an artist’s work or how a particular artwork was received by audiences.

Another key difference between Art History and regular history is that Art History takes into account subjectivity when interpreting artwork. Regular history is based on objective facts and evidence, but Art History often relies on subjective interpretations of artwork instead. By looking into the artist’s intent and audience reception of an artwork, Art Historians can build up a more nuanced understanding of its meaning than traditional historians can.

Finally, Art History often uses methods such as formal analysis to look into how an artwork was constructed or what techniques were used in its creation. This provides insights into how different artistic movements evolved over time or why certain aesthetic choices were made by artists.

In summary, while both regular history and Art History are concerned with understanding the past, they take very different approaches to doing so: while regular history focuses primarily on written records to gain knowledge about events in the past; Art History looks at a wider range of visual media to gain insight into the circumstances in which an artwork was created as well as its reception by audiences over time.


Art History is distinct from regular history because it takes a more inclusive approach to studying objects or images from the past – focusing on all forms of visual expression instead of solely written records – as well as taking subjectivity into account when interpreting artwork. Furthermore, Art Historians use methods such as formal analysis to gain deeper insights about artistic movements over time.