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The Story of Art

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  243,065 ratings  ·  644 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 16th edition, 688 pages
Published April 9th 1995 by Phaidon Press (first published 1950)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  243,065 ratings  ·  644 reviews

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Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, arts
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
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
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 ...more
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 ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabancı
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
Michael Kotsarinis

Η αλήθεια είναι ότι όταν το αγόρασα, ως βιβλίο αναφοράς για τη βιβλιοθήκη μας, δεν πίστευα ότι θα το διάβαζα ολόκληρο. Μετά το πρώτο ξεφύλλισμα, σκέφτηκα να ρίξω μια ματιά στην εισαγωγή. Και εκεί ήρθε η πρώτη έκπληξη καθώς αντί για τα συνήθη ακαταλαβίστικα και βαθυστόχαστα, που διαβάζουμε σε άρθρα και κριτικές για την Τέχνη, συνάντησα έναν λόγο απλό, μεστό και στραμμένο στον απλό αναγνώστη. Λίγο, λίγο, λοιπόν το προχωρούσα ανάμεσα από άλλα αναγνώσματα και χωρίς να το καταλάβω, είχα περάσει
Michael Finocchiaro
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gombrich's Story of Art is a great survey (western-oriented however) of art for those who wish to know the big names and get familiar with some of the more common works. He covers all the various periods in a sufficient amount of detail without sounding pedantic or academic which is a challenge when explaining art history. I would just lament the lack of information about art in China, India,. S America and of course Africa, but that is kind of how Europeans have always viewed art, isn't it.
It r
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
بینظیره. حتا اگه به عنوان تفریح و علاقه هم بخونید، خستهتون نمیکنه، ناامیدتون نمیکنه، مهربونه، روزای خوبی میسازه براتون ...more
Autodidatti di tutto il mondo, uniamoci

Antefatto: al Liceo, in un impeto autonomista, la mia professoressa di disegno decise di saltare il programma triennale di storia dell'arte, consentendomi di beneficiare di cinque anni di proiezioni ortogonali (ricalcate alla finestra dalle tavole altrui).

Questo era l'alibi.

Fino ai 30 anni circa non mi sono mai molto interessato d'arte, fino a un ponte del Primo Maggio trascorso tra Siena e Arezzo. Da lì, resomi conto di quel che mi ero perso, ho cominciato
John David
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just a dozen or so pages into this book, I knew that it was one I wish I would have had access to when I was first seriously exposed to art. While in many respects, it is a conservative textbook (being first published in 1950), it is fundamentally meant for someone who has little to no previous formal contact with art history. Of course, if you have some, this can make you seriously engage some of your previously held assumptions about what you like and why you like it, but I got the distinct im ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
همیشه وقتی روبروی یه اثر هنری می ایستادم و نگاهش میکردم با خودم فکر میکردم باید به چه چیزهایی دقت کنم و دقیقا چه چیزی رو تحسین کنم که منو شگفت زده کنه؟ کم کم به اواسط کتاب که رسیدم انگار داشتم یه کتاب عاشقانه میخوندم و منتظر میموندم که دوباره نویسنده با اون دقت و ظرافت یه اثر رو توضیح بده و من محو اون قسمت های رنگی و عکس ها و هدف و مقصودی که اون هنرمند انقدر ظریف پای تابلو ریخته بشم.به من نشون داد اون تابلوای که شاید رو دیواراتاقم باشه یه موجود زنده است و صرفا باید بهش نگاه کرد، یعنی یاد گرفت که ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
É na arte que o homem se ultrapassa definitivamente.
Simone de Beauvoir

Ter lido a História da Arte — desde a pré-história até meados do Século XX — com o mesmo entusiasmo, prazer e emoção com que leio um grande e bom romance, não se deve a alguma queda que eu possa ter para ler livros técnicos ou de estudo, mas sim à forma como está escrito e apresentado: numa linguagem simples, sem explicações exaustivas; com várias imagens de obras de arte, acompanhadas de uma análise sumária; pequenos resu
Procyon Lotor
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 14-arte
Divulgazione per tutti
Un ottimo libro che permette e ha permesso a moltissimi di farsi un'idea sull'oggetto. Praticamente privo di snobismo ed elucubrazioni fumose quanto dubbie.

Appare di prima lettura un po' cagionevole sull'arte moderna e contemporanea; a parer mio no. L'effetto è senz'altro dovuto alla pressione che subiamo continuamente in merito alla diffusa e falsissima credenza che i geni dell'arte siano quasi tutti nati negli USA nel XX secolo ed in particolare a NY e LA.

Mi permetto di
Jul 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
The title of this book should be "The Story of Western Art," because that is what 95% of this book is. Western Art. The "Primitive Art," "Looking Eastwards" and "Modernism" section are an insult and should have been left out of the text along with his random snide comments.

Othewise, this makes a nice commentary on Western Art. It's enthusiastic and reads like a "story."
Από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει!Προσωπικά είχα αρκετή επαφή με την τέχνη πριν το διαβάσω πράγμα που με ώθησε να παω και στο τμήμα ιστορίας και αρχαιολογίας.Τα σχετικά με την τέχνη βιβλία που διαβάζω είναι εκείνα της Τaschen και οι οδηγοί μουσείων που διατείθενται στα βιβλιοπωλεία "Πρωτοπορία"(τα συστήνω ανεπιφύλακτα για κάθε φιλοτεχνο)Όμως ποτέ δεν είχα την ευκαιρία να διαβασω μια ολοκληρωμένη πραγματεία περί τέχνης,με αποτέλεσμα να ασχολούμαι συνεχώς με συγκεκριμένα κινήματα(αναγέννηση, ...more
محمد فرد
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب به شدت خوبی بود. البته همون طور که نویسنده در انتهای کتاب اشاره می کنه، روند دار کردن هنر تا حد زیادی امکان پذیر نیست و نمی شه خیلی قانون مند سبک ها رو پشت سر هم قرار داد. به این دلیل که همیشه افراد نو آور بودن و شاید مثلا گذشته ها کسانی بودن که کتاب یا اثری خلاف عرف و سبک غالب جامعشون نوشتن و اینا یه طورایی توی این تقسیم بندی ها حذف می شن.
اما در نهایت مجبوریم این طور تقسیم بندی کنیم.
کتاب جدا مفیدی بود و تنها ایرادی که داشت بررسی بسیار بسیار کم تاریخ هنر شرق بود. ایران در اون به شدت کم سهم
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a thick and tremendously heavy book, but only physically heavy, and Gombrich is far from thick in his treatment of art down the ages. Read it lying face-down on the floor. Use it as a door-stop.

The reproductions are exquisite in colour and detail, and of course it can be dipped into at leisure and as the mood takes. The Italian Renaissance is comprehensively covered.

I wanted to buy this book several years ago but thought £25 was a bit steep, then found it last year on sale in Central Lon
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This well-composed book was a pleasure to read. And as far as introducing the history of art, it is exactly what I was looking for; beautiful photographs, lucid descriptions, no jargon, no pretension. I recommend that you read the short preface and first chapter, and I bet that you won’t stop there.

The book’s 600 pages contain at least as many photographs, mostly of paintings, and about half of those figures are full-page (including a few fold-outs [ooh la la:]). The text is written simply – wit
Beth Shapeero
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
The Storey of Art

E. M. Gombrich

I was attracted to this beautiful little book in Waterstones; its wafer thin, smooth bible pages, section of over 400 rich colour plates and stylish, minimal cover design. I was also feeling a pang of guilt for not shopping in bookshops anymore because Amazon is so easy and cheap. Walking through a bookstore, perusing books and judging them by there covers, is a real pleasure and one we will be denied access to as everybody shops online, I am pretty sure we will se
First, the obvious flaws. This was originally written in 1950 by a white European man. It has all the biases you'd expect: referring to certain cultures as "primitive"; largely glossing over any art outside Europe; always defaulting to the male pronoun and in fact only naming one (**ONE**) female artist. This is really "The Story of Western European Male Art". But, I honestly don't think it's worth being upset about his biases. Complaining that books from entirely different time periods don't ma ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, my-library
Nuostabus vadovas po meno istorijos platybes. Planavau šią knygą įveikti per metus (visgi tai ne romanas su intriguojančiu siužetu), tačiau smalsumo vedama sukrimtau daug greičiau. Puikiai sudėliota meno chronologija, atsakanti į klausimus kas, kaip, kur, kodėl. Patiko greta istorinių faktų organiškai įsipynę įdomesni faktai iš menininkų biografijų. Verta garbingos vietos asmeninėje bibliotekoje.
Pooya Kiani
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-هنر
یکی از بهترین کادوهایی که به خودم دادم.
Cinnamon Spark
Μια εξαιρετική εισαγωγή στην Ιστορία Τέχνης.
Sepide Fallah
کتاب در مجموع به عنوان یک کتاب تاریخ ارزشمند و ساده نویس است. یک دید کلی مناسب برای شروع مطالعات تاریخی هنرهای تجسمی و شناخت سبک های تاریخی به خواننده می دهد. اما به گمان من یک ایراد اساسی دارد و آن اینکه کتاب هیچ ایده ای درباره ارتباط هنر و شرایط اجتماعی و تاثیر جریانات فکری و محیط کلی روشنفکری در اختیار خواننده نمی گذارد و صرفا هنر را به شیوه ای مستقل از اشکال گوناگون اندیشه ورزی بررسی می کند.نقش تاریخ در آن بسیار کمرنگ است. ایراد دیگر آن توجه صرف به هنرهای تجسمی است. این کتاب تاریخ "هنرهای تج ...more
Gombrich, yo soy tu fan, pero este pedazo de manual nunca fue La Historia del Arte.
Dicho sea esto, te lucís como el mejor sintetizador de la visión europea del arte en 1950. Quien quiera entender los movimientos posmodernos (su suceso entre los críticos y coleccionistas; la falta de interés en y de la sociedad civil), encontrará en Ernst un interlocutor bien formado y característico de la época.

Gombrich love
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alanla ilgili ünlü ve gerçekten temel sayılabilecek bir çalışma. Akla estiğinde, ara ara bakılacak bir eser değil de, isminde de belirtildiği şekilde öyküsel yanı olan, baştan sona hızla ve merakla okunabilecek bir kitap. Kitaptan pek çok not aldım, pek çok yeni şey öğrendim, bildiğim pek çok bilgiyi bir çerçeveye oturtmak konusunda da kitap bana yardımcı oldu. Sanat tarihiyle ilgili bir başlangıç eseri olarak kabul edilse de kitapta yer yer hayli derinleşen tespit ve yorumlara da rastladım. Bir ...more
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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.

“One never finishes learning about art. There are always new things to discover.” 45 likes
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