10,000 Years of Art

500 great works of art from all periods and regions of the world.

Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors


Price: USD$12.95

Look Inside

  • A pocket guide to world art from 8,000 BC to the present day
  • An accessible, informative and fun compendium of world art that presents 500 masterworks from all cultures in chronological order, demonstrating what was being made all over the globe at the same time
  • Only here can you find Leonardo’s Ginevra de’Benci next to an ink painting from the Chinese Ming Dynasty, or Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon alongside a face mask from Gabon
  • Each work occupies a unique place in the history of art and is a representative example of the art of its culture
  • Concise descriptive texts set each work in context, explaining its place in the history of art
  • A comprehensive index and a glossary make this book an invaluable reference tool and teaching resource


About the book

10,000 Years of Art brings an innovative, global perspective to the presentation of art history. All periods and regions of the world are represented in 500 great works of art carefully selected to create an accessible, informative guide to creative human endeavour. Arranged in chronological order, this group of works breaks through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries employed by art historians and celebrates the vast range of human artistry.

The works presented here, arranged in the sequence in which they were made, take the reader on a global and historical journey, responding to such questions as ‘What were artists creating in China or Africa while Rembrandt was painting portraits in Leyden?’ ‘How were similar subjects – landscapes, religious scenes – manipulated by artists in Aztec Mexico compared with Medieval Europe?’

While artworks from the European Renaissance or pre-Columbian Americas will be interspersed with contemporaneous works created in Africa, India or Japan, an extraction of the Renaissance or American works could stand alone as an essential abridgement of the finest art of that period or culture. The selection of works is non-hierarchical and includes both fine and decorative arts – mostly painting and sculpture, but also textiles, masks, ceramics and jewellery.

Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place of origin, style or culture, medium, dimensions etc.) and a text that provides critical review of the work, explaining its contribution to the development of the history of art.

This convenient, pocket-sized book is a companion volume to Phaidon’s critically acclaimed 30,000 Years of Art (2008), described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘a bold new publishing event that promises to redefine the parameters of art history’. 10,000 Years of Art lives up to the promise of its sister publication, providing an indispensable resource for any art enthusiast.


About the author(s)

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