Charlie's Reviews > The Story of Art: Pocket Edition

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich
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Dec 23, 10


If you don't know anything about art and wish you did, The Story of Art will help. It will ONLY help you to understand art according to a modernist, Western European narrative. If you want to critique art, this is a pretty important narrative to understand, due to its dominance in the field of art theory (I mean, as far as I know). Gombrich covers painting, sculpture, and architecture from pre-history to the mid-twentieth century. He explains what makes particular artists so important by placing their work in the context of problems that artists try to solve: how to convey depth, how to arrange the figures in a painting, how use color, and so on. This will be helpful to anyone who, like me, has stood before the Mona Lisa and wondered what in God's name was so great about it.

The first few chapters are SPECTACULARLY RACIST in a genial, 1950's upper-class Englishman kind of way. If you DON'T assume that art produced anywhere but Western Europe or America is contemptible or trivial, you can probably just skip the first few chapters, because they don't add much to the rest of the book. If you DO assume that art produced anywhere but Western Europe or America is contemptible or trivial, then I imagine the first few chapters WON'T sound racist to you, and may in fact sound SPECTACULARLY GENEROUS, in which case: enjoy them, douche.

But I'm fairly certain that no one who's not my friend will read this review, so...when I said douche? I didn't mean you.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Claudia I read your review and think it's spot on. Will use it as reference to weed out the douches. Thanks!


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