The Art Book: New Edition

An accessible A–Z guide to artists from medieval times to the present day

Phaidon Editors


Price: USD$59.95


The Art Book presents a whole new way of looking at art. Easy to use, informative and fun, it’s an A-to-Z guide to the greatest painters, photographers and sculptors from medieval times to the present day. It debunks art-historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples from all periods, schools, visions and techniques.

Only here could Carracci be seen alongside Cartier-Bresson, Duccio be found beside Duchamp, Mondrian be considered with Monet, or Warhol contrasted with Waterhouse.

Each artist is represented by a full-page illustration of an exemplary work, accompanied by an illuminating text on the piece and its creator. The entries are comprehensively cross-referenced and glossaries of artistic movements and technical terms are included, together with an international directory of galleries and museums to visit. By breaking with traditional classifications, The Art Book presents a fresh approach to art: an unparalleled visual sourcebook and a celebration of our rich and multi-faceted culture.


This compilation draws together the research and works of a broad selection of curators, critics, artists and academics.

290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
592 pp
600 artists | 600 colour illustrations
9780714864679 | 0714864676


'The perennial bestseller [ ... ] is back. … this classic art primer is a sure-fire bestseller.' The Bookseller

'The new edition of “The Art Book” is perhaps most ideal for newcomers to art but will be enjoyable for almost anyone interested in art.'

' ...each new work is a surprise and keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat. Tell me, when's the last time you heard anyone say that about going to an art gallery or opening up an art history text book?' Blog Critics

'The new edition of The Art Book is perhaps the most ideal for newcomers to art but will be enjoyable for almost anyone interested in art.' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Art City

'An ambitious and weighty, but extremely valuable, addition to the bookshelves of gallery-goers. ...with beautiful reproductions... The A to Z presentation means different styles and periods crash together in a heady way and there is real pleasure to be found simply by leafing through the pages to find yourself facing the leering and bejewelled skull created by Damien Hirst or being introduced to an artist of whom you were totally unaware. It's a bookcase essential for anyone who enjoys art.' Associated Press

'A veritable art gallery at your fingertips, without ever leaving your home' Junior

'Anyone with a glimmer of interest in art is likely to have this humongous book on their shelf' Emerald Street Newsletter

'Print too pretty for ebooks' We Love this Book

'Adding over 100 new works to its roster and incorporating newer media like photography, performance art, and video installations, the new Art Book features the ways in which the art world has been reinvigorated in the last two decades. ...the book is a good start for those searching for the basic building blocks of a modern art education." The Huffington Post

'The second edition of this popular, comprehensive reference tome has just enough biographical information on each of its alphabetically featured artists from all eras to quickly elevate a cocktail party conversation - or perhaps inspire a passion.' ForeWard Reviews



Amanda Renshaw, Phaidon Editorial Director, talks about The Art Book and its revolutionary presentation of art.



Javier Mariscal is one of the most highly respected illustrators and designers working today. His work covers a multitude of disciplines, from graphic and industrial design to furniture, interiors, animation and multi-media projects. This video shows the evolution of The Art Book jacket, designed by Javier Mariscal.


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