Meyer Schapiro

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Meyer Schapiro (1904–1996) was a Lithuanian-born American art historian known for forging new art historical methodologies that incorporated an interdisciplinary approach to the study of works of art. An expert on early Christian, Medieval, and Modern art, Schapiro explored art historical periods and movements with a keen eye towards the social, political, and the material construction of art works. Credited with fundamentally changing the course of the art historical discipline, Schapiro's scholarly approach was dynamic and it engaged other scholars, philosophers, and artists. An active professor, lecturer, writer, and humanist, Schapiro maintained a long professional association with Columbia University in New York as a student, lecturer, and professor.


(in English unless noted otherwise)


  • Vincent van Gogh, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1950.
    • Vincent van Gogh, trans. Cees Buddingh', Amsterdam: Contact, 1958, 130 pp. (Dutch)
    • Vincent van Gog, Belgrade: Jugoslavija, 1968, 42 pp. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Paul Cézanne, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1952.
  • The Parma Ildefonsus: A Romanesque Illuminated Manuscript from Cluny, and Related Works, New York: College Art Association of America, 1964.
  • Words and Pictures. On the Literal and the Symbolic in the Illustration of a Text, The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1973.
  • Selected Papers, I: Romanesque Art. New York: George Braziller, 1977.
    • Romanica, Turin: Giulio Einaudi, 1982. (Italian)
    • Estudios sobre el Romanica, Madrid: Aliana, 1984. (Spanish)
    • Romanische Kunst Ausgewahlte Schriften, Cologne: Dumont, 1987. (German)
  • Selected Papers, II: Modern Art: 19th and 20th Centuries, New York: George Braziller, 1978, 277 pp.
    • Modern konst: 1800-talet och 1900-talet: valda Studier, trans. Leif Janzon and Nina Weibull, Stockholm: Forum, 1981, 317 pp. (Swedish)
    • Moderne Kunst-19.und 20. Jahrhundert-Ausgewahlte Aufsatze, Cologne: DuMont, 1982. (German)
    • L’Arte Moderna, Turin: Giulio Einaudi. (Italian)
    • El Arte Moderno, Madrid: Alianza, 1988. (Spanish)
    • A arte moderna séculos XIX e XX ensaios escolhidos, São Paulo: Ed. da Univ. de São Paulo, 1996, 345 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Selected Papers, III: Late Antique, Early Christian, and Medieval Art, New York: George Braziller, 1979.
    • Estudios sobre el arte de la Antiguedad Tardia, el Cristianismo Primitivo y la Edad Media, Madrid: Aliana, 1987. (Spanish)
  • The Romanesque Sculpture of Moissac, New York: George Braziller, 1985. Reprint of Schapiro’s dissertation originally published in Art Bulletin; includes photographs by David Finn.
  • Selected Papers, IV: Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society, New York: George Brailler, 1994, vii+253 pp.
  • Mondrian: On the Humanity of Abstract Painting, New York; George Braziller, 1995.
  • Words, Script, and Pictures: The Semiotics of Visual Language, New York: George Braziller, 1996.
  • Impressionism: Reflections and Perceptions, New York: George Braziller, 1997.
  • Selected Papers, V: Worldview in Painting—Art and Society, New York: George Braziller, 1999, 256 pp.
  • The Unity of Picasso's Art. New York: George Braziller, 2000.
    • A unidade da arte de Picasso, trans. Ana Luiza Dantas Borges, São Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 2002, 255 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Meyer Schapiro: His Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000.
  • Language of Forms: Lectures on Insular Manuscript Art, New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 2005.
  • Romanesque Architectural Sculpture: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, University of Chicago Press, 2006.
  • Meyer Schapiro Abroad: Letters to Lillian and Travel Notebooks, Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, c2009.
Collections edited in translation
  • Style, artiste et société, trans. Blaise Allan, et al, Paris: Gallimard, 1982, 443 pp. (French)
  • Umetnostnozgodovinski spisi, trans. Jure Mikuž and Igor Zabel, Ljubljana: Škuc: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, 1989, 344 pp. (Slovenian)
  • Dílo a styl, ed. & afterw. Karel Srp, trans. Diana Kösslerová and Jan Valeška, Prague: Argo, 2006, 431 pp. (Czech)


  • "Style", in Anthropology Today: An Encyclopedic Inventory, ed. A.L. Kroeber, University of Chicago Press, 1953, pp 287-312; repr. in Aesthetics Today, ed. Morris Philipson, Cleveland: World, 1961.
    • Estilo, trans. Martha Scheinker, Buenos Aires: Paidos, 1962. (Spanish)
    • "Styl", in Schapiro, Dílo a styl, trans. Diana Kösslerová and Jan Valeška, Prague: Argo, 2006, pp 277-309. (Czech)



  • Meyer Schapiro: The Bibliography, comp. Lillian Milgram Schapiro, New York: G. Braziller, 1995.