History of Art Books

The history of art books and the origins of these are still debated today, but one of the forerunners is William Blake, who published a number of contemporary art books during the late 1700s through to the early 1800s. William Blake was a British painter, poet and printer who created his first art book through a desire to put his written work together with his artistry. To this end, Blake developed his own printing techniques that enabled the printing of the written word and art together.


In France during the 1890s, Ambroise Vollard, who was a Parisian art dealer, created the livre d’artiste, which literally translates to ‘artist’s book’. Vollard created this art book in order to capitalize on the new emerging art market in France, as the rich middle-class demographic increased. The art books were comprised of classical text and prints of original art, bound together with fine binding.


During the early 1900s, printing techniques became cheaper through their method of creation and through the introduction of cheaper materials. Through the first two decades, typography was introduced as innovative, giving even more character to art books. In the 1920s, many artists’ books were printed in Germany, relying on photographs more and more.

In Europe preceding WWII, and in America during the 1960s, contemporary artist books began to emerge in larger numbers through the improvements of technologies such as offset printing and photocopy.


From then and up to today, artists’ books continue to be published on a regular basis and still hold popularity through print, and more recently, in digital forms, such as in the eBook. The website is dedicated to reviewing the great classics, along with the newest art books that have been published in the twenty-first century.

Most Popular Art Books

The latest and most popular art books cover everything from modern artists like Banksy to commentary on the most iconic art classics in the world. We look at the most popular art books available and what you will discover when you delve into the pages of the art world.

Wall and Piece by Bansky

The legendary “guerrilla” street artist Banksy has created some of the most recognizable street art pieces in the world. The artist has painted his work on walls and bridges in towns and cities all over the globe, and has managed to smuggle his art into four of New York’s major art museums. He has also surreptitiously placed his work in the Tate Gallery London and painted on the West Bank barrier in Israel.

The enduring mystery of the identity of Banksy adds to the intrigue around his art, and even though his identity may never be known, his unmistakable work is recognizable the world over and prints fetch thousands.

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich

This book has been revised and updated and covers everything from the earliest cave paintings to modern experimental art. The book now includes more modern artists and covers the work of some of the most well-known historical paintings in detail. There are also fold-outs of famous paintings by masters allowing you to see these iconic works in exquisite detail.

The world of art is incredibly diverse and the most popular art books show you a world of colour and dimension that will ignite your imagination.

New Art Books

The world of art books encompasses a broad spectrum of art from contemporary and photography to historical art and the classics. The best art books take you into the mind of the artist and allow you to discover the multifaceted world of art with a new sense of appreciation and understanding. Here we look at the latest art books to see what should be on your coffee table this year.


This book explores the relationship between two of the most famous artists of recent times, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali. The pair appears to be complete opposites; however the combination of humour and scepticism in their work gives them a shared theme to their art.

The artists knew each other and spent time together in Paris and New York and this book looks at their works and the similarities between these two behemoths of the art world.

Both artists used identity and eroticism as themes in their work, and they both explored science, myth, religion and optics. This new art book contains beautiful illustrations and key pieces from each of the artists as well as previously unseen photographs and letters that show the depth and warmth between two of the most famous artists of the 20th century.

Vincent Sardon – The Stampographer

This new art book looks at the work of Parisian artist Vincent Sardon who uses a dark and combative sense of humour to create works with rubber stamps that he designs and manufactures himself.
Sardon’s work is unusual due to the choice of rubber stamps as the medium to convey his ideas and art to the world. In his work, there are insults and satirical iconic reverie, using his sharp wit and sense of beauty to deconstruct well-known artists work or reveal the profanity and vulgarity of the world around us.

There is a huge choice of new art books for you to explore, allowing you to enter the wonderful world of art and lose yourself within the brushstroke, shutter snap or medium of choice of the most well-known and up and coming artists of the world.

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