This book cannot be avoided if you are studying Chinese art history, however, since each section is written by a different author, the result is not homogeneous in quality, readability, or helpfulness. It's a nice resource for images of Chinese painting you might not otherwise find elsewhere. Which chapter you prefer will vary according to which author's style you prefer. The book does provide a sort of timeline of Chinese painting from its origins until the Qing dynasty, however since each chapter is whole unto itself, there is a gap in continuity from one section to the next.
Chinese painting is full of wonders. While three thousand years in one volume seems quite ambitious, this book provides an useful introduction to the subject with clear historical outlines and good selection of images. I would think that the texts sometimes might appear lacking of details and thorough researches to students and scholars of Chinese art, but they would still appreciate large and good quality color reproductions and well-organized structure of the book.