The Story of Art

The Story of Art

This text is the 16th revised and updated edition of this introduction to art, from the earliest cave paintings to experimental art. Eight new artists from the modern period have been introduced. They are: Corot, Kollwitz, Nolde, de Chirico, Brancussi, Magritte, Nicolson and Morandi. A sequence of new endings have been added, and the captions are now fuller, including the...

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Title:The Story of Art
Author:E.H. Gombrich
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Story of Art Reviews

  • AC

    This book was perfect. For someone like myself who (now) has a little knowledge of Art (the capital letter here is deliberate) and some sense of history -- but who has big gaps and oceans of ignorance about the topic -- this book was perfect. It is mature, serious, to the point, absolutely free of jargon, sure, insightful -- always interesting, never pedantic -- and not eccentric in the least. Gombrich covers all the major artists and the movements they represent, and ties them together with cla

    This book was perfect. For someone like myself who (now) has a little knowledge of Art (the capital letter here is deliberate) and some sense of history -- but who has big gaps and oceans of ignorance about the topic -- this book was perfect. It is mature, serious, to the point, absolutely free of jargon, sure, insightful -- always interesting, never pedantic -- and not eccentric in the least. Gombrich covers all the major artists and the movements they represent, and ties them together with clarity. Like one of our most knowledgeable 'friends' on the art circuit at goodreads, he is discerning, but not judgmental. Indeed, Gombrich's account of the development of modern art - up until World War II -- is fabulous, though brief. Gombrich is much less upbeat on more recent trends -- he mentions Pop, but quite deliberately (it seems) refuses to even mention Warhol's name.

    I know that it's very difficult for people who know a great deal about something to recommend -- or even read - introductory books. But for anyone looking for a book of this sort, this is definitely a winner.

  • Nikoleta

    Ένα εκπληκτικό βιβλίο για την ιστορία της τέχνης. Εμένα προσωπικά, που είμαι εντελώς άσχετη, με βοήθησε πολύ να κατανοήσω την πορεία και την εξέλιξή της, σε σημείο τέτοιο που να συμπαθήσω ακόμα και την μεταμοντέρνα, που δεν άντεχα ούτε να την βλέπω. Καλογραμμένο, απλό, εμπεριέχει τα πάντα. Θα κλείσω και με ένα απόσπασμα από την εισαγωγή του Gombrich, που έγινε η αιτία να με κερδίσει και με έκανε να το ξεκοκαλίσω όλο.

    «...η Τέχνη - με κεφαλαίο Τ - δεν υπάρχει. Γιατί η Τέχνη με κεφαλαίο Τ κατάντησε

    Ένα εκπληκτικό βιβλίο για την ιστορία της τέχνης. Εμένα προσωπικά, που είμαι εντελώς άσχετη, με βοήθησε πολύ να κατανοήσω την πορεία και την εξέλιξή της, σε σημείο τέτοιο που να συμπαθήσω ακόμα και την μεταμοντέρνα, που δεν άντεχα ούτε να την βλέπω. Καλογραμμένο, απλό, εμπεριέχει τα πάντα. Θα κλείσω και με ένα απόσπασμα από την εισαγωγή του Gombrich, που έγινε η αιτία να με κερδίσει και με έκανε να το ξεκοκαλίσω όλο.

    «...η Τέχνη - με κεφαλαίο Τ - δεν υπάρχει. Γιατί η Τέχνη με κεφαλαίο Τ κατάντησε σκιάχτρο και φετιχισμός. Κινδυνεύεις να εξουθενώσεις έναν καλλιτέχνη λέγοντας του πως εκείνο που μόλις έφτιαξε δεν είναι "Τέχνη" παρόλο που είναι καλό. Και αν δηλώσουμε σε οποιονδήποτε πως εκείνο που του αρέσει σε κάποιο έργο δεν είναι, όπως νομίζει, Τέχνη αλλά κάτι διαφορετικό, θα μείνει άναυδος.»

  • Lisa

    Reflecting on my reading year 2016, I came to think of books that have meant a lot to me over the past decades, and the first one that came to my mind was Gombrich’s excellent introduction to art history.

    I will have to go back twenty years, half my life, to the year 1996. I am twenty years old, and just about to discover the pleasurable adventure called university. For Christmas, I receive a much longed-for gift card to buy books that “will help me in my studies”, and I stand in a bookstore, on

    Reflecting on my reading year 2016, I came to think of books that have meant a lot to me over the past decades, and the first one that came to my mind was Gombrich’s excellent introduction to art history.

    I will have to go back twenty years, half my life, to the year 1996. I am twenty years old, and just about to discover the pleasurable adventure called university. For Christmas, I receive a much longed-for gift card to buy books that “will help me in my studies”, and I stand in a bookstore, one of those exquisite, inexhaustible bookstores on several floors that German university cities provide, and I am browsing through options. I probably spend hours there. I can still feel the time pass, while I look, think, go through history, art, literature. I pick a book, then another one, and more still, until I have to bring one back. Gift card value is weighed against all these lovely, lovely possibilities.

    At this moment in time, I own one Billy bookshelf, and it is not filled yet, as my children’s books and classics are left at my parents’ house. What do I pick? I don’t remember the fiction, but I do remember picking a “start of the term offer”, Mayersches Taschenlexikon, in 34 volumes, rarely used, as the internet takes over soon, and it is inconvenient to look up definitions by going through entries in alphabetical order. Some time between 1996 and now, it falls victim to one of our many moves between cities and countries. I don’t have it anymore. I bought it out of duty.

    I choose one extravaganza: Gombrich. A German hardback copy, beautifully illustrated, taking a huge chunk of the gift card money. I start reading as soon as I come home. And almost magically, it opens up the world of art to me. I learn why Egyptians “walk like Egyptians”, I discover Rubens, Bernini, Raphael, Leonardo, and Delacroix,and Canova, Manet and Monet, and Picasso, Duchamp and, and, and...

    I discover the world through a visual prism. Ever since then, Gombrich has followed my path. I soon come to read his more specialised works on form, function and symbolism in Renaissance art, I learn about his life, deeply influenced by 20th century history, and I keep going back to “The Story Of Art” whenever I need to take a step back and look at general ideas again.

    And I steal my mother’s Swedish copy!

    I want to read it aloud to my children, and they are only used to their father reading in German, and me in Swedish. So in order not to confuse them more than necessary in their Babylonian curse, I read it in Swedish, the stolen goods. And what a help that has been in the many museums around the world that my children have visited over the years. They recognise their “Gombrich” when they see it.

    Two years ago, my eldest son wants a copy - in English, in order to be able to quote from it. And of course I can’t resist buying it for him, at a shop inside the British Museum. So we have three copies, and I would not be beyond buying one in French, at a shop in the Louvre, maybe, just for the silliness of owning a favourite in so many different shapes. For they are all slightly different in layout, but equally satisfying visually and textually.

    I still recommend it to whoever wants a clear, concise, lovable account of the history starting with cave paintings in Lascaux, and moving forwards still, mirroring humanity in its need to express ideas, thoughts and feelings through the medium of art.

    My children and I will now be reading

    , which Gombrich wrote expressly for children, and YES - we read it in Swedish. And YES, we have it in English as well!

    And NO - one Billy bookshelf is not even enough for our children’s books anymore!

    This is The Story Of Lisa And The Story Of Art, to be continued...

  • Luís C.

    What a monument! I'm not a regular in the history of art, but I wanted to throw myself still in this reading. Much good has taken me, it took me a few weeks to deal with them, but I do not regret it! Are discussed painting, drawing, sculpture and even architecture, since the earliest human societies until the 50s the whole is decorated with beautiful illustrations. Unless you have a real need for the pocket edition (small footprint), I advise rather publishing "beautiful book". Indeed, the techn

    What a monument! I'm not a regular in the history of art, but I wanted to throw myself still in this reading. Much good has taken me, it took me a few weeks to deal with them, but I do not regret it! Are discussed painting, drawing, sculpture and even architecture, since the earliest human societies until the 50s the whole is decorated with beautiful illustrations. Unless you have a real need for the pocket edition (small footprint), I advise rather publishing "beautiful book". Indeed, the technical constraints imposed grouping illustrations at the end of the paperback edition, which requires incessant round trips. And the images are larger, quite simply!

  • Νόρα

    Από τα ωραιότερα βιβλία που βρίσκονται στη βιβλιοθήκη μου.Όσοι με γνωρίζουν ξέρουν ότι έχω βαθιά αγάπη για την τέχνη,έτσι μου έκαναν δώρο αυτό το βιβλίο.Δεν ήταν δύσκολο να το καταλάβουν ότι το ήθελα,τους είχα πάρει τα αυτιά.Είχα αποφασίσει να μάθω περισσότερα για την ιστορία της τέχνης και δεν μου αρκούσαν πλέον τα βιβλία των μεγάλων ζωγράφων η οι οδηγοί των μουσείων.Ένα βιβλίο κατανοητό με απλή γραφή ,που εύκολα ο αναγνώστης ξεκαθαρίζει με σειρά τις έννοιες και την χρονολογική εξέλιξη της τέχν

    Από τα ωραιότερα βιβλία που βρίσκονται στη βιβλιοθήκη μου.Όσοι με γνωρίζουν ξέρουν ότι έχω βαθιά αγάπη για την τέχνη,έτσι μου έκαναν δώρο αυτό το βιβλίο.Δεν ήταν δύσκολο να το καταλάβουν ότι το ήθελα,τους είχα πάρει τα αυτιά.Είχα αποφασίσει να μάθω περισσότερα για την ιστορία της τέχνης και δεν μου αρκούσαν πλέον τα βιβλία των μεγάλων ζωγράφων η οι οδηγοί των μουσείων.Ένα βιβλίο κατανοητό με απλή γραφή ,που εύκολα ο αναγνώστης ξεκαθαρίζει με σειρά τις έννοιες και την χρονολογική εξέλιξη της τέχνης,ξαναβάζει σε μια χρονολογική σειρά γεγονότα και πρόσωπα που υπάρχουν συγκεχυμένα στο μυαλό μας.Το βιβλίο ανήκει σε εκείνα τα σπάνια βιβλία που μπορούν να ανοίξουν κόσμους ολόκληρους μπροστά στα μάτια σου και να σε ταξιδέψουν.Δεν χρειάζεται να είσαι ειδήμων για να μπορέσεις να το απολαύσεις.O Gombrich επεξηγεί με ουσιαστικό τρόπο αρκετά σύνθετα ζητήματα.Το Χρονικό της Τέχνης οφείλει τη μοναδική δημοτικότητά του στην άμεση και απλή γραφή του.Ένα βιβλίο που το προτείνω ανεπιφύλακτα.

  • Ezgi

    Yedi yüz sayfalık bu başyapıt hakkında konuşmak kolay değil. Lokasyon değişikliği sebebiyle aylarca okuyamadım; insanın yanında taşıması için de ağırlığı pek makul olan bir kitap olmadığından bitirmem uzun sürdü.

    Kitabın en önemli özelliği gidip bu eserleri tek tek yerinde inceleme isteğini tavan yaptırması. Kitapta fotoğraflanan eserlerin bir kısmını kendi gözlerimle görebildiğim için mutlu olmuşken bundan sonraki müze gezilerimde önceden bu kitabı bir karıştırıp “burada da bunu görmek lazım” d

    Yedi yüz sayfalık bu başyapıt hakkında konuşmak kolay değil. Lokasyon değişikliği sebebiyle aylarca okuyamadım; insanın yanında taşıması için de ağırlığı pek makul olan bir kitap olmadığından bitirmem uzun sürdü.

    Kitabın en önemli özelliği gidip bu eserleri tek tek yerinde inceleme isteğini tavan yaptırması. Kitapta fotoğraflanan eserlerin bir kısmını kendi gözlerimle görebildiğim için mutlu olmuşken bundan sonraki müze gezilerimde önceden bu kitabı bir karıştırıp “burada da bunu görmek lazım” demem çok muhtemel bundan böyle.

    Bunların yanında, kitapta benim için, günümüze ulaşan pek çok Antik Yunan/Roma heykelinin aslında -kendi dönemlerinde bile- replikadan ibaret olması, onların vakt-i zamanında tıpkı Endülüs Sarayları gibi renkli tasarlanmış olması, ilk Empresyonistlerin geleneğe sıkı sıkıya bağlı olan otoriter sanat okullarına karşı verdikleri mücadeleler gibi pek çok yeni bilgi vardı. Hatta o zorlu mücadeleden haberdar olunca modern ve post-modern sanata karşı biraz daha insaflı olmaya karar verdim. 1600’lü yıllarda bile İtalya’daki sanat okullarında artık üretilebilecek yeni bir teori, aşılacak bir perspektifin kalmadığına dair inanç yaygınlaşmış. İnsanlar o tarihte Avrupa’da ‘resim sanatını nasıl daha fazla geliştirebiliriz’ diye münazaralar yaparken başka milletlerin (misal bizim) o tarihlerde neler yapıyor olduğuna daha dikkatle bakmak gerekir. 1600’lerde doruğa ulaştığı ve üzerine bir şey eklenemeyeceği düşünüldüğü halde, sanatçılar her seferinde yeni bir şey katmayı ve bir önceki anlayışı aşmayı başaracak buluşlarla gelmişler. Neredeyse doğa-üstü sayılabilecek bu çabanın tarihine bakmak benim için heyecan verici oldu. İyi ki Gombrich bu kitabı yazmış. İyi ki ben onu sahaftan düşürmüşüm : ) Başka sanat tarihi kitapları ile bu konuya devam etmek istiyorum.

  • Arybo ✨

    Italian/English review

    🇮🇹 Non è perfetto, ha una visione prettamente occidentale, con qualche incursione nel mondo asiatico, africano e sudamericano. D’altra parte, lo stesso Gombrich spiega che non ha potuto inserire tutti i suoi ambiti di interesse in un volume che, nonostante queste mancanze, è riuscito nell’impresa di ricostruire una storia dell’arte almeno dell’occidente. Non ci si può lamentare, poi, che la parte dell’arte comunemente nota come “contemporanea” (quella dei musei modernissim

    Italian/English review

    🇮🇹 Non è perfetto, ha una visione prettamente occidentale, con qualche incursione nel mondo asiatico, africano e sudamericano. D’altra parte, lo stesso Gombrich spiega che non ha potuto inserire tutti i suoi ambiti di interesse in un volume che, nonostante queste mancanze, è riuscito nell’impresa di ricostruire una storia dell’arte almeno dell’occidente. Non ci si può lamentare, poi, che la parte dell’arte comunemente nota come “contemporanea” (quella dei musei modernissimi, per intenderci, fatta di action painting e installazioni) non sia tanto approfondita: è pur sempre un libro scritto nel 1950 e ampliato in parte negli anni successivi. A questo punto, io mi potrei lamentare del fatto che, per il manierismo, si siano usate al massimo due pagine, mentre in realtà ci sarebbe stato tanto da scrivere. Ma non sono qui per polemizzare con chi polemizza. Questo libro nasce come “prima lettura” per chi è a digiuno di arte, e quindi la sua funzione la compie appieno. Venire a conoscenza dell’arte fiamminga, dell’arte Mesopotamica o dell’arte precolombiana è bello, e più bello è capirne i significati, le cause e le conseguenze. Tutto questo lo permette la lettura del Gombrich. Anche chi ha studiato arte per anni troverà in queste pagine nuovi spunti di riflessione e nuovi approcci a temi triti e ritriti. Io, ad esempio, non avrei mai collegato Manet a Goya, ed invece l’autore mi mostra come questi artisti possano essere stati legati. Ecco, questa è la cosa bella di questo librone: aprire gli occhi, far conoscere e sperimentare, far interessare. Naturalmente, non si può pensare di uscire istruiti in tutta la storia dell’arte solo leggendo questo libro. Ma la sua cavolo di funzione il testo la fa, perché ti spinge a consultare altri documenti, altri saggi, ad andare per chiese e musei, alla ricerca del patrimonio mondiale della bellezza. Come dice Gombrich verso la fine, non è importate se trovate il vostro artista preferito e snobbate chi non gli assomiglia; l’importante è che capiate i movimenti dell’arte e della mente degli artisti, che riusciate a fare collegamenti, vedere i quadri con occhi nuovi.

    Mi ricordo ancora, nella prefazione, come Gombrich descriva quelli che vanno in un museo, girano forsennati con la cartina alla mano cercando i capolavori e, nel momento in cui si trovano davanti all’opera, tracciano un segno sulla cartina e passano ad un’altra ricerca, senza guardare l’opera. Ecco, fatevi un piacere: la prossima volta che entrate in un museo o andare a visitare una chiesa, prendete la guida illustrata, tenetela in borsa, girovagate per le stanze senza cartina e, appena trovare un’opera che vi interessa, fermatevi lì davanti, pensate a quello che vedete, chiedetevi perché vi ha attirato. Magari riuscirete a capire le intenzioni dell’artista, la sua condizione sociale, la sua vita, le cose che ha attorno, la sua società. Poi, leggete la guida: probabilmente vi troverete quello che, nel vostro intimo, avete ipotizzato. Se non capite i collegamenti tra le opere, poi, sfoglierete libri come questo, capaci di dare panoramiche meravigliose sulla maggior parte delle epoche storiche. Buona visione.😊

    ———-

    🇬🇧 It is not perfect, has a purely Western vision, with some incursion into the Asian, African and South American world. On the other hand, Gombrich himself explains that he was unable to include all his fields of interest in a volume that, despite these shortcomings, managed to rebuild an art history of western art, at least. We cannot complain, then, that the part of art commonly known as "contemporary" (that of ipermodern museums, to be clear, made of action painting and installations) is not so thorough: it is still a book written in 1950 and expanded in subsequent years. At this point, I could complain about the fact that, for mannerism, the author used only two pages, while in reality there would be so much to write. But I'm not here to argue with those who argue. This book is born as a "first reading" for those who are fasting for art, and therefore it fulfills its function fully. Getting to know Flemish art, Mesopotamian art or pre-Columbian art is beautiful, and it is better to understand its meanings, causes and consequences. Reading Gombrich’s books allows all of this. Even those who have studied art for years will find, in these pages, new food for thought and new approaches to tritium themes and portraits. For example, I would never have connected Manet to Goya, and instead the author shows me how these artists may have been linked. Here, this is the beautiful thing about this book: open your eyes, make known and experiment, get interested. Of course, one can not expect to get educated throughout the history of art just by reading this book. But the text does his function in the right way, because it leads you to consult other documents, other essays, to go to churches and museums, in search of the world heritage of beauty. As Gombrich says towards the end, it is not important if you find your favorite artist and snubbed who does not resemble him; the important thing is that you understand the movements of the artists' art and mind, that you manage to make connections, see the paintings with new eyes.

    I still remember, in the preface, how Gombrich describes those who go to a museum, they go wild with the map in hand looking for the masterpieces and, when they are in front of the work, draw a mark on the map and leave the artifact, going on other research, without looking at the work. Here, do yourself a favor: the next time you enter a museum or go to visit a church, take the illustrated guide, keep it in your bag, wander through the rooms without a map and, as soon as you find a work that interests you, stop there , think about what you see, ask yourself why it attracted you. Maybe you will be able to understand the intentions of the artist, his social condition, his life, the things around him, his society. Then, read the guide: you will probably find what you have hypothesized in your mind. If you do not understand the connections between the works, then, you will browse books like this, capable of giving wonderful views on most of the historical periods. Happy vision.😊

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    The story of Art, Ernst Hans Gombrich (1909 - 2001)

    The Story of Art, by E. H. Gombrich, is a survey of the history of art from ancient times to the modern era. First published in 1950 by Phaidon, the book is widely regarded both as a seminal work of criticism and as one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts. The book is divided into an introduction, 27 chapters each dealing with a defined time period of art history within one or several cultural/geographic contexts, and a concl

    The story of Art, Ernst Hans Gombrich (1909 - 2001)

    The Story of Art, by E. H. Gombrich, is a survey of the history of art from ancient times to the modern era. First published in 1950 by Phaidon, the book is widely regarded both as a seminal work of criticism and as one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts. The book is divided into an introduction, 27 chapters each dealing with a defined time period of art history within one or several cultural/geographic contexts, and a concluding chapter summarizing the latest developments in visual arts.

    تاریخ نخستین خوانش (تورق): ماه سپتامبر سال 2001 میلادی

    عنوان: تاریخ هنر؛ اثر: ارنست جان گامبریچ؛ مترجم: علی رامین؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر نی، 1379، در 674 ص، مصور بخشی رنگی، نقشه، نمودار، شابک چاپ پنجم در سال 1387: 9789643124700؛ وازه نامه دارد، نمایه، کتابنامه از ص 639 تا 647 موضوع: تاریخ هنر از نویسندگان اتریشی - سده 20 م

    تاریخ هنر گامبریچ یکی از آثار گرانبهائی ست که درباره‌ ی هنر نگاشته شده؛ مدخلی برای ورود به دنیای هنر است، از نخستین تجربهٔ هنری انسان در نقش‌ پردازی داخل غارها گرفته تا واپسین آثار هنری امروز جهان. ا. شربیانی

  • Rick

    The Story of Art is a handy little survey of art history, primarily but not exclusively western art, from cave paintings and primitive sculptures to modern architecture and pop art. It is 500 pages of text and that many pages of well synchronized color plates in a smart pocket edition by Phaidon. Twenty-eight chapters, mostly quite brief, but each a skillful, thoughtful rippling of the surface, with hints of depth and well-defined currents moving quickly and sure footedly through the eras and ad

    The Story of Art is a handy little survey of art history, primarily but not exclusively western art, from cave paintings and primitive sculptures to modern architecture and pop art. It is 500 pages of text and that many pages of well synchronized color plates in a smart pocket edition by Phaidon. Twenty-eight chapters, mostly quite brief, but each a skillful, thoughtful rippling of the surface, with hints of depth and well-defined currents moving quickly and sure footedly through the eras and advances and changing perspectives on art and the role of the artist. Gombrich is more than knowledgeable and yet manages to condense without condescending or reducing his narrative to trivial choices. He brings the freshness that comes with the enthusiasm of discovery. Of course, what he is sharing is not new to him, but sharing the works and his insights with the reader is new and exciting to him, and the enthusiasm is infectious. The intended audience is younger readers than myself, high school and college age readers or adults new to art history. But I found the book not just enjoyable but helpful and insightful. Gombrich’s prose is clear and crisp, and often charming. Traveling through this great span of time with him is like taking a walk through all the great museums of the world with an elegantly minded expert at your elbow.

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