The Story of Art E.H. Gombrich

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The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over half a century. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject.

For this new, compact edition The Story of Art has been completely redesigned, giving a fresh perspective to Gombrich’s well-loved text. The illustrations, collected together in a separate section towards the back of the book for easy reference, vividly illustrate the lively and engaging narrative and are in colour throughout.

The Story of Art has always been admired for two key qualities: it is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to handle. In these respects the pocket edition is no exception, combining smoothly flowing text with a clear, simple design in a convenient and accessible format. The new edition allows this classic work to continue its triumphant progress for another generation, and to remain the title of first choice for all newcomers to art.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 186 x 110 mm (7 3/8 x 4 3/8 in)
  • Pages: 1064 pp
  • Illustrations: 335 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714847030

Sir Ernst Gombrich's (1909–2001) standing in the world of art and his popularity with experts and a vast general readership alike remain unrivalled. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and many titles have become classics. Ernst Gombrich was born in Vienna and came to England in 1936. He spent the larger part of his working life at the University of London's Warburg Institute, where he was Director from 1959 until his retirement in 1976. His 'retirement' saw the publication of numerous books, reviews and articles, and the conferring of many international honours, including a knighthood and the Order of Merit. In 1994 the city of Frankfurt awarded him the Goethe Prize. His bestselling book The Story of Art, first published over fifty years ago, continues to delight and inform students of art around the world. Professor Gombrich's books are models of good art-historical writing, and reflect his deep and abiding concern with the standards and values of our cultural heritage.

"This is a book which, widely read as it will certainly be, may well affect the thought of a generation. Gombrich writes conversationally and intimately. His learning, though very perceptible to any student of the subject, is worn lightly, but he has something new to say on almost every subject. He can illuminate with a few words the whole atmosphere of a period."—T J Boase, Times Literary Supplement, reviewing the 1st edition

"A pure delight, intellectually and physically."—Professor H W Janson, New York University

"Like every art historian of my generation, my way of thinking about pictures has been in large measures shaped by Ernst Gombrich. I was 15 when I read The Story of Art and like millions since, I felt I had been given a map of a great country, and with it the confidence to explore further without fear of being overwhelmed."—Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum

"It is hard to overstate my enthusiasm for... One of the pivotal works in the great cause of bringing people and art together... A book to read, re-read, and... to savour lovingly like a classic vintage."—J Carter Brown,former Director Emeritus, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and former Chairman, US Commission of Fine Arts

"Equation: Knowledge + Eye; Solution = Gombrich."—Henri Cartier-Bresson, photographer

"This book could change your life."—Jeremy Isaacs, former General Director, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

"Almost as well known as the Mona Lisa, Sir Ernst Gombrich's The Story of Art unites learning and pleasure."—Pierre Rosenberg, former President-Directeur of the British Museum, London

"More people - artists, students and scholars alike - have been introduced to the world of fine art, in the last 45 years, through Ernst Gombrich's The Story of Art than through any other single book. It is a magnificent story, written by a great historian whose directness, suspicion of jargon and enthusiasm remail as infectious as ever. The  new edition is excellent news for those of us who grew up with Gombrich's book - and even more excellent news for those who are about to."—Christoper Frayling, Professor of Cultural History, Royal College of Art, London

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