Here is an art book that will be appreciated by people who prefer to spend hours in a study rather than in museums or galleries. Their study will need to contain books and catalogues by the hundredweight, for The Books that Shaped Art History points towards wide vistas of knowledge, a landscape of the historical mind that – some will think – values erudition for its own sake and cares little for general enlightenment.
The editors of this compilation hold important places within their field. John-Paul Stonard has been Senior Fellow of the National Gallery in Washington (why does our own National Gallery not create fellowships?) and Richard Shone is the editor of the Burlington Magazine, the most highly regarded, though not always authoritative,