The irreconcilable gap between images and the words we use to describe them has led Michael Ann Holly to identify art history as a quintessentially melancholic discipline. Severed from its historical context, something in the image remains elusive, evades our grasp, and refuses to be tamed by language. Against Holly’s proposal, this chapter will advance an anti-melancholic reading of the discipline that does not dwell on the object’s absence. I will argue that what is at stake is precisely the opposite to melancholy: the joyful affirmation of the return.