Jake Jones's Reviews > The Story of Art

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing

This Kraut knows his scheiBe, no doubt. Gombrich was actually an Austrian-British guy, though more British in the classy, elegant way in which he formed his prose. I gotta admire that, but certainly don't expect that approach in this review. Yall should know me by now on this database.

For those of you Sharpton-ass-tonguers who complain that there's no AFRICAN art and it's a RACIST book, like how Huck Finn was racist for being of its time, this book isn't even guilty of that. Yeah, blame all the Brits who didn't do research into an evolution of third world art that clearly, from what we can see, hasn't come a fraction of the distance European art has. They're still running around naked with giant platters in their lips like it's relevant, when really the only thing that could be considered ahead of its time there is their more AIDS. And you expect their skulls painted with cow dung to have more place in a book about little peni and Blue Swirlies? Ain't nothing racist about it; if Italians hadn't kept merging homo/pedo fantasies into sculpture and just finished and went to sleep like normal people, this would be a completely different Story of Art and I'd ACCEPT that, dammit!

In his engaging conversational style, Gombrich especially does a good job relating how much religion had an impact on what was painted. Turns out servants for the kings, priests (the only people who would hire a peasant and use his family for archery practice), were so BORED with constant crucifixion and virgin birth depictions that they found about a million different ways a week to do them, resulting in the Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance movements and so forth. Weaving in and out in exhaustion, waiting to hack up a throat snot onto the baby Jesus when the royal nightwatch wasn't looking, Brunelleschi discovered the concept of perspective, like "Hey, let's make it so that I could see myself FALLING into this trash!" Michelangelo was so desperate to get a centimeter of artistic merit into his work that he made an entire wall to wall ceiling stretch of...oh you know, that famous room that comes AFTER a bunch of breathtaking hallways and artwork done over centuries that is far more impressive. But the Sistine Chapel had to be done so he could pencil in a little face of himself peering between the buttocks of the hulking young angel dude, as an "in-joke"...along with a thousand more taut beefcakes with wings just like him. I can't help but question at what year in history is it justified to skip the formal critique "indulgent" and call it like it was, excessive wanking? I can safely say however that at a certain angle anything, ANYTHING can be appreciated, hell, even for just being MATTER! You can appreciate a gaping old man's goatse if you stand back, tilt your head and say "Oh, the beauty of all existence! Is that the state of Mississippi?", then turn to your nearest vomit receptacle.

And the book ends with "And look at the epileptic shit-flinging Pollack and all the other pretentious willywigglers. Oh, I meant 'avant-garde', snicker". I'm paraphrasing obviously, but this is the correct attitude toward a world where you can literally pencil a small dot on a giant white canvas and milk millions off of "man's place in the universe blah blah blah" by simply referring to your superlative master(bation)stroke as "modern" or "new wave". These are just a few of the themes to be found in Gombrich's intriguingly weaving take on history. It is worth all the time you're not mumbling through a Taco Bell speaker to save yourself from inevitable college bankruptcy that you have...which is none, but time to revise your priorities then, yung squire!

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Story of Art.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 1, 2015 – Shelved

No comments have been added yet.