- This book turns traditional art history inside out. Not styles or forms or movements or artists or art theories are its point of departure, but the reason for being of art in civilization. Since the very beginnings of society art has raised and responded to the existential questions of the human kind. The history of the arts is the history of those questions and from that angle art should be presented: here it is. When reading this book, unfolding like a novel, we think yes, of course, no doubt, why didn't we think of this before? And we agree that art is not a hobby or a profession or an entertainment but the very heartbeat of the human race. This art book carries no pictures. Lists of "major works" and a generous index have been added however to facilitate the consultation of resources on the internet. On the author: Jan Laurens Siesling is a writer and art historian. Born and educated in the Netherlands, he has lived in several countries and traveled in many. As an independent intellectual he has lectured on art in schools and museums and taught at universities in Europe and the US. His books are written in Dutch, French and English. He is the distinguished recipient of the 2015 (x, y) Award for his entire oeuvre.