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Phaidon Press
The Story of Art - 16th Edition / Edition 16

The Story of Art - 16th Edition / Edition 16

by E.H. Gombrich, E. H. Gombrich
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" The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over four decades. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, and one who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject.

For the first time in many years the book has been completely redesigned. The illustrations, now in color throughout, have all been improved and reoriginated, and include six fold—outs. The text has been revised and updated where appropriate, and a number of significant new artists have been incorporated. The bibliographies have been expanded and updated, and the maps and charts redrawn.

The Story of Art has always been admired for two key qualities: it is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to handle. In these respects the new edition is true to its much—loved predecessors: the text runs as smoothly as ever and the improved illustrations are always on the page where the reader needs them. In its new edition, this classic work continues its triumphant progress tirelessly for yet another generation, to remain the title of first choice for any newcomer to art or the connoisseur.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780714832470
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Publication date: 09/09/1995
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 58,315
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

"Ernst Gombrich was one of the greatest and least conventional art historians of his age, achieving fame and distinction in three separate spheres: as a scholar, as a popularizer of art, and as a pioneer of the application of the psychology of perception to the study of art. His best-known book, The Story of Art – first published 50 years ago and now in its sixteenth edition – is one of the most influential books ever written about art. His books further include The Sense of Order (1979) and The Preference for the Primitive (2002), as well as a total of 11 volumes of collected essays and reviews.

Gombrich was born in Vienna in 1909 and died in London in November 2001. He came to London in 1936 to work at the Warburg Institute, where he eventually became Director from 1959 until his retirement in 1976. He won numerous international honors, including a knighthood, the Order of Merit and the Goethe, Hegel and Erasmus prizes.

Gifted with a powerful mind and prodigious memory, he was also an outstanding communicator, with a clear and forceful prose style. His works are models of good art—historical writing, and reflect his humanism and his deep and abiding concern with the standards and values of our cultural heritage.


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The Story of Art - 16th Edition 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Published in 1950 and revised 16 times up until 1995 to keep up with the changing art, Gombrich¿s book gives a great introduction to art from the beginning of time up to experimental art of the twentieth century. I started reading the book near its middle at the Renaissance period in Italy. The book is full of so much useful information and wonderful pictures. This book really does tell a story; it is not like most textbooks in that each new chapter is separate from the others. Each chapter seems to pick up from the other, showing the true flow of art movements throughout time. The art movements did not just stop and a new one started, instead styles slowly changed and new genres of art formed. The Story of Art is not fragmented and unrelated. It is a real, flowing story. That is one reason why I enjoyed reading it. Gombrich divided his book into 28 chapters. So far I have only read from chapter 13 until the end. The chapters generally start off with examples of architecture and then move on to painting. The section I read starts off with the Renaissance in Italy during the fifteenth century. It goes on to talk about the spread of the Renaissance into Northern Europe. Chapter 15 is about Tuscany and Rome in the early 16th century, with focus on the great artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. The next chapter discusses the art style of Venice in the early 16th century, emphasizing artists Titian and Correggio. In chapter 17 we learn how the art of Italy spread north to Germany and the Netherlands. This chapter talks about German artist Dürer. Chapter 18 is titled A Crisis of Art. It talks about the problem that arose in European Art of new generations not being able to surpass the masters that had preceded them. They were questioning whether art had come to a standstill or if there were still improvements to be made. The chapter also introduces El Greco. The next chapter introduces Baroque art and talks about the transition from Renaissance to Baroque. It highlights artists like Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, and Velázquez. Next is about Holland in the 17th century and Rembrandt. Chapter 21 and 22 go together. They are called Power and Glory: 1 and 2. The first section is about the use of art in churches, the second part is about art to show power and royalty. Chapter 23 The Age of Reason included St. Paul¿s Cathedral and the focus of art switching from power to ordinary people. In the next chapter questions about what styles are right and even what is style arise in England, America, and France. Chapter 25 discusses the changes in architecture and painting in the nineteenth century and interprets the artwork of Manet, Degas, Monet, Rodin, and Whistler. Chapter 26 is about Art Nouveau, or a new art style. It brought about artists like Cezanne, Seurat, van Gogh, and Gauguin. In Chapter 27 Experimental Art, shows the switch into modern art with architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Gropius, and painters Picasso, Munch, Chagal, Dali, and simplistic sculptor Brancusi. The last chapter states that the story of art does not have an end and the past of it is always changing with new discoveries. Since the book has many chapters I will only discuss a few of them in depth. Chapters 21 and 22, Power and Glory, parts 1 and 2 both discuss the discovery of the power of art to impress and overwhelm people. In Chapter 21 the emphasis is on the use of art in churches in Italy in the later 17th and 18th centuries. The style of the period was Baroque, a very decorative style. In churches art was used to teach people who could not read about the Bible, and to persuade and convert people. Painters and architects were always trying to outdo prior artists and use even more detail. Chapter 22 showed how art could be used by people of power to show this power. A great example is that of Louis XVI who used art and splendor in his elaborate palace Versailles to show his power and royalty. Soon after Baroque
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book three times over a number of years for renewed knowledge and enjoyment. The author's prose truly provides the reader with an entertaining story and allows him/her an easier method of learning the subject than a school semester. I first read this book before beginning travel to Europe's art museums. The knowledge I gleaned made my travels even more worthwhile.
nummy_cupcake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very accessible book about the history of art
HeyYeah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this cover to cover for a History of Art course at Uni. Very readable and a good introduction but a bit out of date now.
SamMaxwell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why am I limited to only 5 Stars? Read it!
kant1066 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just a dozen or so pages into this book, I knew that it was one I wish I would have had access to when I was first seriously exposed to art. While in many respects, it is a conservative textbook (being first published in 1950), it is fundamentally meant for someone who has little to no previous formal contact with art history. Of course, if you have some, this can make you seriously engage some of your previously held assumptions about what you like and why you like it, but I got the distinct impression while reading that it was meant to initiate a teenager ¿ a teenager who very much reminded of me of myself ¿ into a whole new world. The inclusions and exclusions of certain artists are, of course, always arbitrary. However, Gombrich¿s choices do not deviate too much from a standard art history text. What particularly drew me to the book was what I perceived to be its inordinate focus on medieval and especially Renaissance art. Of the twenty-eight chapters included in the book, about five mostly focus on Western medieval images (6 and 8-11). Another six chapters (13-18) focus on the art of the Western Renaissance. Most surveys of art history to which I had been previously exposed paid scant attention to medieval art and they sometimes did not give the Renaissance the space that I felt it deserved. There is no doubt the medieval and Renaissance art Gombrich¿s pet periods here (and, admittedly, they¿re mine, too.) What makes it so special is that, instead of spending the first chapter in an abstract exercise of thinking about what ¿Art¿ is, he forces you over and over again to take the art on its own terms. While discussing the various visual perspectives painted by the artist of ¿The Garden of Nebamun,¿ he says: ¿To us reliefs and wall-paintings provide an extraordinarily vivid picture of life as it was lived in Egypt thousands of years ago. And yet, looking at them for the first time, one may find them rather bewildering. The reason is that the Egyptian painters had a very different way from ours of representing real life. Perhaps this is connected with the different purpose their paintings had to serve. What mattered most was not prettiness but completeness. It was the artists¿ task to preserve everything as clearly and permanently as possible. So they did not set out to sketch nature as it appeared to them from any fortuitous angle¿ (p. 60). It is the occasional insight like this that makes the book most worthwhile for a neophyte. After all, how many of us have measured something we saw by the standards of our particular narrow time and place? He really drives home the point that thinking about art seriously means thinking about other perspectives (both literally and figuratively), other preoccupations, and other aesthetic modus operandi. This is a lesson that should be lost on none of us, about art, or about anything else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KSBNY More than 1 year ago
I felt like I was sitting on my couch listening to a friend share his love of art. The only disadvantage was the tiny print, and the small pictures. Otherwise, a great reference.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago