Featuring 1000 internationally recognised paintings this collection spans the history of art from the thirteenth century to the present from the early stirrings of the Renaissance movement in Italy to the boundarypushing experiments of the Abstract Expressionists in post-WWII America. These cultural treasures are presented in historical context along with extended captions and biographies of one hundred of the most influential artists. Each chapter reviews major events that had an impact on the art world defines significant techniques and comments on relevant innovations. An artistic cultural and educational resource this book invites us to consider the interaction between history and art and the influence artists through the ages have had on each other as well as the future of the discipline. The traditional and the controversial the mythic and the understated the quietly subversive and the deliberately challenging – all are thought-provoking if only for their persistence and together they document the progress of Western history through the eyes of our most creative visionaries.