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Art and Illusion Paperback – December 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0691070001 ISBN-10: 0691070008 Edition: Millennium

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Product Details

  • Series: Bollingen
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Millennium edition (December 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691070008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691070001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About 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.

More About the Author

Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, OM, CBE (30 March 1909 - 3 November 2001) was an Austrian-born art historian who spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom. He is the author of many works of art criticism and art history. (Photograph: Pino Guidolotti)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ida Kotyuk on February 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
When asked to recommend an art book, I frequently compare art books to chemistry books or math books. These books usually assume you understand, at the minimum, the symbol for salt or the math equation to measure an area. For this book, it would help if you are familiar with the main phases of representational styles in art. For this is not a picture book, but rather reading material with explanatory pictures on the psychology of perception.

But, Dr. Gombrich wrote for the general public and nobody does it better. Having read all his books more than once, he takes you by the hand, leads you down his primrose path, and entices you by way of his poetic language; much like walking in a garden with a gardener. You may not know all the plant's latin names, but the experience is rewarding.
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Goldhaber mgoldh@well.com on December 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
In this now classic work, Gombrich uses his command of the history of art to reflect deeply on how creators and viewers of illusionistic, that is representational art, do what they do. While he wrote this in the 50's, and is deficient when it comes to issues of abstract art (which is really outside his stated purview) he comes close to what might now be termed a post-structuralist view of seeing, certainly an extremely careful and sophisticated one. Old-fashiioned as some of the language is, the book remains fresh and well worth reading or re-reading. The numerous and very well-chosen illustrations are unusually well coordinated in their placement, so that the reader rarely is forced to lose her place while thumbing back and forth in search of them.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JS on March 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Art & Illusion is an altogether brilliant text - one of the most profound discussions of fine art in the 20th century. No matter what one's field - whether painting, film, new media, performance art - it is a book both timeless and essential.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sydney D. Thompson on July 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great text, but in this printing the illustrations appear poorly printed (they are pale), especially noticeable when compared with those of an older edition. Perhaps the quality of illustrations is peculiar to my copy, but the reproductions seem consistently light.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Lloyd on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only thing that marred this (recent paperback version) of this book for me was the quality of some of the monochrome reproductions, which in the case of my copy were often almost to dark to even discern the subject matter. I notice that another reviewer complained about the pictures in his copy being too light, so it seems to have been a quality control issue.
That having been said, this is a scholarly and readable text, even humorous in places. The style is beginning to show age, but the writing is always clear, concise and comprehensible, and the book is truly INTERESTING, for anyone who cares about art. There is a wealth of well-selected illustrations, a few in colour (these were reproduced quite well). Just a pity that some of the B&W pictures were almost useless.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
As someone with an interest in art I found this book very interesting.
However, this book is also a classic example of how a non-fiction book should be written. It flows smoothly from topic to topic, is not written on too high a level, but on the other hand does not insult your intelligence.
His other book are also very good.
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This is a very serious, thoughtfully considered text for going beyond the physical canvas in its examination of how we see.
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