Cengage Advantage Books: Understanding Art: A Concise History, 1st Edition

  • includes ArtExperience Online Printed Access Card
  • Lois Fichner-Rathus College of New Jersey
  • ISBN-10: 0495101680  |  ISBN-13: 9780495101680
  • 320 Pages
  • © 2008 | Published
  • List Price = $ 129.95
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  • For single copy purchases, visit



This very concise global art history text provides an accessible writing style and an affordable text for your students. Moreover, student access to the premium website, which features a study guide, flashcards, and more, comes with each new copy of the text at no extra charge.

Features and Benefits

  • The Introduction prepares students for the course with discussions including; what is art history, style, subject matter, form, content, iconography, and the vocabulary of art.
  • The book's strong pedagogy and engaging personal approach focus on the needs of students. The "A Closer Look" feature is geared to help students understand the role of art in society and in everyday life by offering insights into artists' personalities and delving into various topics at greater depth, while the "Compare and Contrast" feature shows two or more works of art side by side and phrases questions that help students focus on their stylistic and technical similarities and differences between two or more works.
  • The "Art Tours" feature photographs and guides by the author, highlighting public art in specific cities around the world, allowing students to experience art where it is located. There are "Art Tours" of Jerusalem, Rome, Florence, London, Paris, Chicago, and New York. Each "Art Tour" ends with a note to remind students to go to the Premium Companion web site to obtain more information, including travel tips, maps, links to the museums and other interesting facts about that city.
  • Quotes by artists, critics, and others appear throughout to highlight material and place art in context.
  • The ArtExperience Online web site can be packaged with the book at no extra charge, and it gives students access to a host of resources. Students receive flashcards containing most of the images from the text and the Study Guide. In addition, the site expands the "Compare and Contrast," "A Closer Look," and ArtTour features from the book.
  • The text features the most up to date art program including contemporary (or post-modern) works including a number by women, artists of color, and art from cultures around the world. Artists and works include Eve Sussman, Frank Gehry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rem Koolhaas, Santiago Calatrava, and Damien Hirst, to name just a few.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
2. The Art of the Ancients.
3. Classical Art: Greece and Rome.
4. Christian Art: From Catacombs to Cathedral.
5. The Renaissance.
6. The Age of Baroque.
7. Art beyond the West.
8. Modern Art.
9. The Twentieth Century: The Early Years.
10. Contemporary Art.
Photo Credits.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Non-Media Version

    ISBN-10: 0495104922 | ISBN-13: 9780495104926

    List Price = $129.95

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + The Museum Experience - West

ISBN-10: 0495435929  | ISBN-13: 9780495435921

List Price = $129.95  | CengageBrain Price = $129.95

Bundle: Text + The Museum Experience - Midwest

ISBN-10:  0495435953  | ISBN-13:  9780495435952

List Price = $129.95  | CengageBrain Price = $129.95

Bundle: Text + ArtBasics: An Illustrated Glossary and Timeline

ISBN-10:  0495448060  | ISBN-13:  9780495448068

List Price = $120.95

Bundle: Text + The Museum Experience - East

ISBN-10:  0495435910  | ISBN-13:  9780495435914

List Price = $129.95  | CengageBrain Price = $129.95

Bundle: Text + The Museum Experience - Southwest

ISBN-10:  0495436038  | ISBN-13:  9780495436034

List Price = $129.95  | CengageBrain Price = $129.95

Bundle: Text + The Museum Experience - Southeast

ISBN-10:  0495435996 | ISBN-13:  9780495435990

List Price = $129.95  | CengageBrain Price = $129.95


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

ArtExperience Online Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495104361 | ISBN-13: 9780495104360)

Available with each new copy of the text at no extra charge--includes digital flashcards for most of the images in the text to help students learn works of art, and an online study guide. In addition the site expands the "Compare and Contrast," "A Closer Look," and ArtTour features of the book. Additional Resources include Glossary Term Flashcards, Chapter Quizzes, Art History Careers, Art Links, Guide to Researching Art History, Tips on Becoming a Successful Student.

List Price = $5.00  | CengageBrain Price = $5.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $5.00

Digital Image Sampler for Art for Wadsworth's Sampler Art Multimedia Manager  (ISBN-10: 049510390X | ISBN-13: 9780495103905)

This CD contains a sample chapter of the high-resolution digital images for this textbook. A new feature of the image bank is a zoom feature that allows the instructor to magnify a specific portion of the image.

Digital Image Sampler - Art 2010  (ISBN-10: 0495792233 | ISBN-13: 9780495792239)

This CDROM includes a sample chapter from the Digital Image Library instructor’s presentation tool. The sampler provides high-resolution images (maps, diagrams, and most of the fine art images from the text) for lecture presentations, either in an easy-to-use PowerPoint presentation format, or in individual file formats compatible with other image-viewing software. A zoom feature allows you to magnify selected portions of an image for more detailed display in class or you can display images side by side for comparison and contrast. You can easily customize your classroom presentation by adding your own images to those from the text. The Digital Image Library also includes a Google™ Earth application that allows you to zoom in on an entire city, as well as key monuments and buildings within it. Flash video clips of architectural landmarks in New York City discussed in the text are also included.

Instructor's Edition  (ISBN-10: 0495101699 | ISBN-13: 9780495101697)

The Instructor's Edition of the text includes a visual preface "walk-through" of the book's features and an example of the Resource Integration Guide, located in the instructor's resource section of the website, which shows how all the supplementary resources can be used most effectively with each chapter.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Lois Fichner-Rathus

Lois Fichner-Rathus is professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History of The College of New Jersey. She holds a combined undergraduate degree in fine arts and art history, an M.A. from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and a Ph.D. in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her areas of specialization include contemporary art, feminist art history and criticism, and modern art and architecture, as well as the theory and foundations of art and design. Dr. Fichner-Rathus is also the author of the Cengage Learning textbooks UNDERSTANDING ART and FOUNDATIONS OF ART AND DESIGN. She teaches study-abroad programs in Paris, Rome, Spain, and Cuba and resides in New York.