This survey of art theory in the context of Western visual art consists of 41 original essays written by experts in the field. Following an extensive introduction on the formation of modern art theory, the Companion is organized chronologically so that readers can trace developments of visual art theory, from Classical and Medieval sources and modern conceptions of art as they have been theorized since the Renaissance, through to some current theoretical preoccupations. In addition to outlining and describing various theoretical positions, the book's chapters articulate some assumptions that underpin them and raise more general questions about the nature of theorizing about art. In this way the Companion provides both an introduction to main themes of Western art theory and a source for critical enquiry into the purposes, possibilities and limitations of theory in the context of artistic practice. The work can also be used alongside the three Art in Theory anthologies published by Blackwell, as a further art theory resource.