What Is Art History in Your Own Words?

Art|Art History

Art History, in its most basic sense, is the study of art. It is a field of inquiry that looks into the history, meaning, and significance of art and works of art from different cultures and throughout the ages. It takes into account not only the physical aspects of a work, such as its composition, colors, lines and shapes, but also examines the context in which it was created and its impact on society over time.

The study of Art History encompasses a wide range of topics and issues such as patronage, aesthetics, iconography, symbolism and cultural influences. It also includes an understanding of how different societies have used art to create or express their beliefs or to communicate messages or values. Art History is an interdisciplinary field that includes aspects from other disciplines such as philosophy, history, anthropology and sociology.

Art historians employ various methods to analyze works of art including formal analysis (examining the elements within a work), iconographic analysis (examining symbols or patterns in a work), contextual analysis (examining the historical context in which a work was created) and stylistic analysis (examining how style has changed over time). They also use techniques like archival research (looking at documents related to a work) and scientific testing (such as X-ray imaging or chemical testing).

As an academic discipline, Art History has been around since the 19th century when it emerged as part of university curriculums. In recent years it has become increasingly popular with students who are interested in exploring new areas beyond traditional subjects like literature and history. With new technologies available for studying artwork such as digital imaging technology, access to artwork from around the world has become easier than ever before.

In many ways Art History can be seen as an exploration into our shared human experience – it helps us to better understand ourselves by looking at how people in other cultures have expressed themselves through art over time. In this way it offers insight into our current culture as well as providing us with a greater appreciation for our shared human heritage.

In my own words, I would describe Art History as an exploration into human creativity across different cultures throughout history. It is not only a study of physical works but also examines the context in which they were created and their impact on society over time. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws on many other disciplines such as philosophy, history anthropology and sociology to provide a comprehensive understanding of what people have expressed through their artwork over time.


Art History is an engaging exploration into human creativity across different cultures throughout history that draws upon multiple disciplines to provide comprehensive understanding about artwork made throughout time.