Art and Illusion
A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation
E. H. Gombrich
With a new preface by the author
Considered a great classic by all who seek for a meeting ground between science and the humanities, Art and Illusion examines the history and psychology of pictorial representation in light of present-day theories of visual perception information and learning. Searching for a rational explanation of the changing styles of art, Gombrich reexamines many ideas on the imitation of nature and the function of tradition. In testing his arguments he ranges over the history of art, noticing particularly the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, and the visual discoveries of such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt, as well as the impressionists and the cubists. Gombrich's triumph in Art and Illusion arises from the fact that his main concern is less with the artists than with ourselves, the beholders.
First published in 1961.E. H. Gombrich was director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition at the University of London, 1959-1976. He was born in 1909 in Vienna, where he studied the history of art under Julius von Schlosser and classical archaeology under Emanuel Loewy. He has been Slade Professor of Fine Art at both Oxford and Cambridge, Visiting Professor at Harvard, Spencer Trask Lecturer at Princeton, and Walker Ames Professor at the University of Washington. His best-known book, The Story of Art (1950) has been translated into 29 languages.