Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation / Edition 1

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Overview

Considered a great classic by all who seek for a meeting ground between science and the humanities, Art and Illusion examines the history and psychology of pictorial representation in light of present-day theories of visual perception information and learning. Searching for a rational explanation of the changing styles of art, Gombrich reexamines many ideas on the imitation of nature and the function of tradition. In testing his arguments he ranges over the history of art, noticing particularly the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, and the visual discoveries of such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt, as well as the impressionists and the cubists. Gombrich's triumph in Art and Illusion arises from the fact that his main concern is less with the artists than with ourselves, the beholders.

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Editorial Reviews

Perception
Ernst Gombrich is indeed Master Scholar of the highest distinction. He has explored the mysterious links between perception and art—adding to both in the process, with a score of superb books on the history and philosophy of art. . . . [Art and Illusion's] riches can only be appreciated by careful reading, more than once.
— Richard Gregory
The Economist
[Sir Ernst's] own theory of perception, put forward in Art and Illusion . . . arguably his most important book, was controversial in almost every detail. But it brought the topic of the visual back to the centre of the history of the visual arts, from where it had been strangely displaced.
The New York Times
I have learned a great deal from this volume, but what I shall remember about it is the author's warmth and wit, the fabulous range of his references and the richness of personality that lies behind the whole performance.
Perception - Richard Gregory
Ernst Gombrich is indeed Master Scholar of the highest distinction. He has explored the mysterious links between perception and art—adding to both in the process, with a score of superb books on the history and philosophy of art. . . . [Art and Illusion's] riches can only be appreciated by careful reading, more than once.
From the Publisher
"Ernst Gombrich is indeed Master Scholar of the highest distinction. He has explored the mysterious links between perception and art—adding to both in the process, with a score of superb books on the history and philosophy of art. . . . [Art and Illusion's] riches can only be appreciated by careful reading, more than once."—Richard Gregory, Perception

"[Sir Ernst's] own theory of perception, put forward in Art and Illusion . . . arguably his most important book, was controversial in almost every detail. But it brought the topic of the visual back to the centre of the history of the visual arts, from where it had been strangely displaced."—The Economist

"I have learned a great deal from this volume, but what I shall remember about it is the author's warmth and wit, the fabulous range of his references and the richness of personality that lies behind the whole performance."—The New York Times

The Economist
[Sir Ernst's] own theory of perception, put forward in Art and Illusion . . . arguably his most important book, was controversial in almost every detail. But it brought the topic of the visual back to the centre of the history of the visual arts, from where it had been strangely displaced.
Perception
Ernst Gombrich is indeed Master Scholar of the highest distinction. He has explored the mysterious links between perception and art—adding to both in the process, with a score of superb books on the history and philosophy of art. . . . [Art and Illusion's] riches can only be appreciated by careful reading, more than once.
— Richard Gregory
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691070001
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/2000
  • Series: A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts Series
  • Edition description: Millennium
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 833,209
  • Product dimensions: 7.66 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

E. H. Gombrich was director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition at the University of London, 1959-1976. He was born in 1909 in Vienna, where he studied the history of art under Julius von Schlosser and classical archaeology under Emanuel Loewy. He has been Slade Professor of Fine Art at both Oxford and Cambridge, Visiting Professor at Harvard, Spencer Trask Lecturer at Princeton, and Walker Ames Professor at the University of Washington. His best-known book, The Story of Art (1950) has been translated into thirteen languages.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Preface to the 2000 Edition xxv
Preface xxxvii
Preface to the Second Edition xli
Introduction: Psychology and the Riddle of Style 3
PART ONE: The Limits of Likeness
Chapter 1. From Light into Paint 33
Chapter 2. Truth and the Stereotype 63
PART TWO: Function and Form
Chapter 3. Pygmalion's Power 93
Chapter 4. Reflections on the Greek Revolution 116
Chapter 5. Formula and Experience 146
PART THREE: The Beholder's Share
Chapter 6. The Image in the Clouds 181
Chapter 7. Conditions of Illusion 203
Chapter 8. Ambiguities of the Third Dimension 242
PART FOUR: Invention and Discovery
Chapter 9. The Analysis of Vision in Art 291
Chapter 10. The Experiment of Caricature 330
Chapter 11. From Representation to Expression 359
Retrospect 393
Notes 399
Index 443

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2003

    I can't stop thinking about it!

    Only the best books can open your eyes. I read this because I saw it on the Modern Library's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century List. I know all such lists are arbitrary and controversial, but this book deserves to be on it. It explores the origins of artistic style, using a combination of art history and research in visual perception. The ideas of this book will stay with you after you read it, and will effect how you think about any kind of art or thought.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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