David's Reviews > The Story of Art

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich
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Aug 30, 10

bookshelves: read-2010
Read in August, 2010

I thumbed through a much older (perhaps first) edition of this book when I was away from home and looking for something to read. I was immediately hooked by Gombrich's enthusiastic writing. When I returned home, I was extremely pleased to find that the latest edition was lavishly illustrated and updated to reflect more recent times.

In my opinion, the book is fabulously readable for two reasons: Every piece of art mentioned is shown in the book beside the text and the author avoids "pretentious jargon". I wish every art book followed just these two principles.

While the European art from the Thirteenth to Nineteenth Centuries (the bulk of the book) eventually became a slog which threatened to make my eyes glaze over, this is no fault of Gombrich. Instead, he has given me a much greater appreciation of this time period. The art is so much more interesting against a backdrop of history and biography.

True to the title, the book really does read like a story. It's not just a series of mind-numbing names, place, and dates. It's a seamless narrative of art over time. So while I'm sure it was very difficult to write, the whole thing feels effortless.
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message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane I just found your review and wanted to say you did an excellent summing up of a marvellous book that has been with me a long time now - the Prof was really the best of the best at bringing art to young people wasn't he? Like you spotted - No jargon!

http://pyreneestoparis.blogspot.com/2...


David Jane wrote: "I just found your review and wanted to say you did an excellent summing up of a marvellous book that has been with me a long time now - the Prof was really the best of the best at bringing art to y..."

Thanks, I couldn't agree more!


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