The famous Mona Lisa painting (Photo by Joaquin Martinez)

Art is a wide-ranging subject. When some people hear the word “art,” they think of an easel and a paint brush. But there are lots of other kinds of art that should be studied and recognized.

The history of art exemplifies the magnitude of this subject even more because of how many art forms have existed in various cultures throughout the history of mankind. Whether you’re learning about painting, ceramics, architecture, or sculptures, there is so much to learn about the talent that goes into creating any form of art. Many of these forms can be traced back a few thousand years before humans had any kind of technology to assist them with these incredibly precise creations.

According to, which ranks a variety of textbooks and subjects, the following textbooks are considered the top 10 textbooks on art history currently in use. If you use any of these books, you can rest assured that you are utilizing an academic book that is packed with comprehensive information that is easy to read and understand:

1) Art: A World History by Elke Linda Buchholz, Susanne Kaeppele, Karoline Hille, and Irina Stotland (2007 – Abrams Publishing)

2) Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Concise Global History by Fred S. Kleiner (2008 – Wadsworth Publishing)

3) Art History, Volume 2 (4th Edition) (MyArtsLab Series) by Marilyn Stokstad and Michael Cothren  (2010 – Prentice Hall)

4) Art History, Combined Volume (4th Edition) (MyArtsLab Series) by Marilyn Stokstad and Michael W. Cothren (2010 – Prentice Hall)

5) A History of Western Art by Laurie Schneider Adams (2010 – McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages)

6) Theories of Modern Art by Herschel B. Chipp (1986 – University of California Press)

7) Gardner’s Art through the Ages: A Global History, Enhanced Edition (with ArtStudy Online and Timeline) by Fred S. Kleiner (2010 – Wadsworth Publishing)

8) Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art by Carlo McCormick, Marc Schiller, Sara Schiller, and Ethel Seno (2010 – Taschen Publishing)

9) The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern by Carol Strickland (2007 – Andrews McMeel Publishing)

10) Barron’s AP Art History by John B. Nici (2012 – Barron’s Educational Series)

Should you need any of these art history books, use to search for them online and to compare prices on both books for purchase and books for rent. You should also check out your local bookstores to see if they are cheaper there or if you can save more money by purchasing them online.