The Arts

by Hendrik van Loon Author

A history of the arts throughout the ages, with illustrations by the author (Hendrik van Loon).

Additional Details

Resource Type
Print Status
Out of Print
Suggested Grades
7th - 12th
Simon and Schuster


  • 1 Prologue: the nature of art
  • 2 The Art of Prehistoric Man
  • 3 The Art of Egypt
  • 4 Babylon and Chaldea and the Land of the Mysterious Sumerians
  • 5 Heinrich Schliemann: Serendipity
  • 6 The Art of the Greeks
  • 7 The Age of Pericles
  • 8 Pots and Pans and Earrings and Spoons: Hellas
  • 9 The Etruscans and the Romans
  • 10 The Jews
  • 11 Early Christian Art
  • 12 The Copts
  • 13 The Art of the Byzantines
  • 14 Russia: art up a blind alley
  • 15 Islam: the art of a desert people
  • 16 Medieval Persia: the great melting pot of all the arts
  • 17 The Romanesque Period: art among the ruins
  • 18 The Provence
  • 19 Gothic: a beautiful fairy story in an ugly world
  • 20 The End of the Gothic Period
  • 21 The Spirit of the Renaissance
  • 22 Florence
  • 23 Il Beato Fra Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole: the St. Francis with a brush
  • 24 Niccolo Machiavelli: and the new patrons of art
  • 25 Florence Comes Into its Own as the World's Greatest Arts Center
  • 26 The Putti: the cheerful little Bambini which the Florentine sculptors brought back to life
  • 27 The Invention of Oil Painting
  • 28 The Italian Picture Factory Gets Underway
  • 29 America: the Old World discovers the new one
  • 30 New Ears Begin to Listen Where New Eyes Have Already Been Taught to See
  • 31 The New Prosperity Reaches the Heart of Europe
  • 32 A Mighty Fortress is Our God: Protestantism and the arts
  • 33 Baroque
  • 34 The Dutch School of Painting: a strange epidemic of pictorial exuberance affects and entire nation
  • 35 The Grand Siecle
  • 36 Monsieur de Moliere Dies and is Buried in Sacred Ground
  • 37 The Actor Makes His Reappearance
  • 38 The Opera: the court of Versailles is treated to a few novelties of a musical nature
  • 39 Cremona: a slight detour to visit the home of the fiddle-making dynasties of Lombardy
  • 40 A New and Fashionable Form of Entertainment: Monteverdi and Lulli and the beginning of the French opera at the court of Louis XIV
  • 41 Rococo
  • 42 Some More Rococo: the 18th century in the rest of Europe
  • 43 India, China, and Japan: Europe discovers it can learn a great deal from these very unexpected quarters
  • 44 Goya: the last of the great universal painters
  • 45 The Picture-book gives way to the music book
  • 46 Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: the General Staff leads its army of humble music-teachers to a brilliant victory
  • 47 Pompeii, Winckelmann, and Lessing: a little Roman city, recently arisen from its ashes, and two learned Germans combine to give new impetus to the so-called "classical movement."
  • 48 Revolution and Empire: the triumph of the classical style concludes with an attempt to turn the artist into a political propagandist
  • 49 Chaos: 1815-1937: Art and life part company
  • 50 The Romantic Period: the great escape into the realm of the ruined castle and the broken hearted poet in the checkered pantaloons
  • 51 Revolt in the Studio: the realists refuse to find further safety in escape and start a counter-attack of their own
  • 52 Asylum: the museum makes its appearance as a most welcome home for the aged but is in no way fit to act as a place of refuge for the living
  • 53 The Music of the Nineteenth Century
  • 54 Das Lied: for which you can substitute the word "song" but it won't be quite the same
  • 55 Paganini and Liszt
  • 56 Berlioz: the beginning of our modern "popular" music
  • 57 Daguerrre: the painter encounters a formidable rival in Monsieur Daguerre's "heliographic pictures"
  • 58 Johann Strauss: and how dance and music came once more to be composed for the purpose of making people dance
  • 59 Chopin: the originator of the modern nationalistic "blues"
  • 60 Richard Wagner: the father of the Germany of Adolf Hitler
  • 61 Johannes Brahms: the amiable philosopher who thought in terms of music
  • 62 Claude Debussy: the impressionistic style moves from the painter's studio into the study of the composer
  • 63 A Final Word: a word of farewell and good cheer

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