In this provocative book, Patricia Emison invites the reader to
consider and reconsider how past thinkers--from Pliny and Alberti
to Freud and Fried--have conceptualized the history of Western art.
What a book review attempts to be for a book, this extended essay
attempts to be for several hundred years' worth of books in a
field: an indicator of problems with the old attempts and hopes for
the new ones. It is a defense of art history for those outside the
field who question its reliability or even its importance; it is a
critique of art history for those in the field who may have been
preoccupied with looking at trees but who might be interested in
trying to see the forest.
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