Art historical theory is a forum of intense, often passionate debate. This book provides a starting point for the art history student to the range of theoretical perspectives used in looking at and analysing art. It covers a broad range of approaches, presenting individual arguments, controversies and divergent perspectives. The book begins by introducing the concept of theory and explains why it is important to the practice of art history. Each of the six chapters that form the core of the book presents a group of related approaches that are then discussed in turn and applied to one or more works of art. The book ends with some practical ideas about writing theory-based art history essays.