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.
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.
"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