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The Story of Art, Pocket Edition Paperback – October 7, 2006
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'More people...have been introduced to the world of fine art, in the last 45 years, through Ernst Gombrich's The Story of Art than through any other single book.'
'The great gift he gave us was to make the living process of art understandable to us all. Rather than a dry cultural history, he made looking at art -- that perceptual experience -- an adventure.'
'It is hard to overstate my enthusiasm for...one of the pivotal works in the great cause of bringing people and art together...A book to read, re-read, and...to savour lovingly like a classic vintage.'
'Gombrich has done more than any other human being to draw people towards an enlightened understanding of art... Wearing his immense learning lightly, tackling abstract ideas without losing his readers in jargon, he has attracted a devoted following.'
'Ernst Gombrich was the most famous art historian in the world. His reputation was based less on a particular approach to the subject, or the mastery of a single period, than on the breadth of his interests and his skill at making the history of art interesting to a non-specialist public.'
'The Story of Art was the first history of art which I read as a 19-year-old student. It was a revelation and I could not put it down. It pushed open the door on some of the greatest achievements of the human spirit. Written with love and scholarship, clarity and insight, it stands as a classic cornerstone in any appreciation of art.'
'... did more than any other writer in the last 100 years to introduce a wider public to a love of art. Successive generations of students have been drawn to The Story of Art, his erudite survey of Western art, and his Big Idea: "There is no such thing as art -- there are only artists." An academic who stayed firmly outside his profession's charmed circle, his book was intended as a rallying cry against snobbery and elitism, and has remained a classic.'
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
philosophic standpoint: it is the presence of an authorial voice, and a continuous narrative. Most other survey texts give up the ideal of coherent exposition in favor of a neutral descriptive voice and a fragmented "story" that
continuously interrupts itself in order not to lose any essential historical detail.
Even if you aren't very interested in art history, THE STORY OF ART remains a must read; at worst, you will be entertained, and at best you will gain an entirely new perspective on art. The prose is masterfully written and the analysis he presents is very accessible. He discusses everything from ancient Greek sculpture to Renaissance painting to modern architecture. The reproductions of the artwork in the book are also extremely good (there are several high-quality fold-out pages included, such as one of Leonardo's Last Supper pre-restoration). I was very pleased with both the amount and breadth of coverage he provided.
Even though I haven't read any other introductory art history books, I find it hard to believe that any other book could do the job as well as Gombrich has done it here. I would highly recommend THE STORY OF ART to anyone who wants an art history primer.
However, as an introduction to Art History and Art Appreciation, you could do a lot worse. Gombrich is easy to read, he states himself clearly, he presents the history of art (in Europe) as a steady evolution of ideas, rather than a compartmentalized series of Eras & Styles as so many academic textbooks do. He selected illustrations that most effectively elucidate his point. Useful as his book is, it would be a mistake to treat him as a final authority on the subject. _The Story of Art_ is merely an INTRODUCTION to art. Once Dr. Gombrich has opened the door for you, you should leave him behind and continue your explorations on your own, or at least with a different guide. Form your own opinions; that's part of the experience of art.
About the Pocket Edition specifically: The text is in the front (printed on very thin "Bible" paper) and the illustrations are in the back. Phaidon has provided two built-in ribbon bookmarks so you can keep your place in both sections. It's an interesting solution for making the book smaller. I can vouch for the fact that it's easy to carry around, since I took it with me on two trips while reading it, but the arrangement does have its drawbacks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is just a story, not Art, nor history of Art:
1, Most are personal views and opinions.
2, More than half of the book is about Art after 16th century. Read more
Excellent introduction to the history of art, especially for layman in the field. Highly readable, and insightful.Published 1 month ago by RIFamily
This is a monumental work. After touring the Louvre, the Orsay, the Met and others I realized that I was just an art tourist. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daryl
Insightful and substantial arguments and facts about art... From ancient to contemporary times. Thanks!Published 3 months ago by Romeo
It has with stand the deep depths of my destroying of books backpack! In other words it is very good quality! :) (I'm not the best at grammar)Published 4 months ago by L Howard