The Uses of Images: Studies in the Social Function of Art and Visual Communication

The Uses of Images: Studies in the Social Function of Art and Visual Communication

by E.H. Gombrich

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gombrich, perhaps the most celebrated art historian of our time, presents his tenth collection of essays. Through an examination of frescoes, altar paintings, luxury objects, pictures for the home, outdoor sculpture, pictorial satire, doodles, and pictorial instructions, he encourages us to view "art as task," a notion put forth by historian Jacob Burckhardt. The function assigned by society to an image will affect its shape and appearance. What we see as stylistic change and artistic interpretation is really an artist's adaptation to this assignment--each work of art meets a demand of some sort. Gombrich states in his introduction that readers can consider each chapter separately or view the book as a whole, with Burckhardt's notion in mind. More connective material would have been welcome, though, or at least a stronger conclusion. Any work by this master historian helps shed light on the place of art in the human experience, but this volume is only a necessary purchase for art and art history collections.--Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Phaidon Press
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Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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