- Series: STORY OF ART
- Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: Phaidon Press; 16 edition (April 9, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0714832472
- ISBN-13: 978-0714832470
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 130 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Story of Art Paperback – April 9, 1995
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From Library Journal
Phaidon Press has produced a much-improved edition of Sir Ernst Gombrich's classic narrative study of art history, which was first published in 1950. Among the many competing introductory texts?the central monuments of which are H.W. Janson's History of Art (Prentice, 1986. 4th. ed.) and Helen Gardner's Art Through the Ages (4th ed. o.p.)?Gombrich's venerable work has inhabited a unique niche, having been created specifically for newcomers to art. As his title indicates, he presents the whole of art history as a chronological narrative. Gombrich's voice is lively, opinionated, and almost conversational, yet his erudition shines through to make a book that is both accessible and informative. His premise, that the love of art, not the love of history, is the appropriate basis for its study is communicated directly with his irrepressible enthusiasm for certain masters and his passionate exasperation with 20th century nonobjective artists. While much of the text is unchanged, the format has been completely redesigned with vastly expanded illustrations, improved captions, better charts and an excellent index. This book belongs on every art-lover's bedside table, and even those libraries owning an earlier edition would not regret adding this refinement of an already first-rate work.?Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Lucid and endlessly informative." – The Good Book Guide
"For everyone, not just for stuffed shirts." – The Mail on Sunday
"The country’s bestselling book on art, never out of print, still in demand" – The Times
"Gombrich’s voice is lively, opinionated, and almost conversational, yet his erudition shines through to make a book that is both accessible and informative." – Library Journal
"This comprehensive look at Western art from prehistoric times on up to the present has been completely redesigned and extensively revised and updated." – Booklist
"Enjoy the most famous book on art ever published. . . This has been revamped for the first time since 1972, offering larger illustrations, more color, and improved text and coverage. Highly recommended." – Midwest Book Review"
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The book is 600 pages with lots of pictures so he is covering about 5,000 years in about 90,000 words which means he understandably breezes through parts, leaving important artists and pieces unmentioned and not giving a very deep understanding of the social and political environment which spawned them. What I did was to read in front of my computer so that as he mentioned things, I could consult wikipedia or other sources for further information. I often wandered off reading of the Franco-Prussian War or the Annunciation but it all broadened my knowledge and I could also look at other works of an important artist.
As it is a survey work, I would recommend reading further about periods or artists which interest you but you will at least have a fledgling knowledge to begin.
It was written over 70 years ago, in a style more relaxed and more personal than more modern texts. (A great exception being Bazin’s “Baroque and Rococo.”) Some of its scholarship is of course outdated, but as an introduction it can’t be beat; and to the more knowledgeable amateur, it’s a relaxed conversation, a revisitation of the past with another fan.
will gain from this magnificent book.
gombrich manages to teach the reader how to look at art at the same time he explains the main historical developments and style points of each movement or period. new students of art will find the book is a pleasurable and clear guide; experienced readers will enjoy gombrich's judicious use of detail and selection. a bibliography, chronological charts of art epochs and artists' lives, maps of europe and an index conclude the book.