Ernst Gombrich was one of the greatest and least conventional art historians of his age, achieving fame and distinction in three separate spheres: as a scholar, as a popularizer of art, and as a pioneer of the application of the psychology of perception to the study of art. His best-known book, The Story of Art - first published 50 years ago and now in its sixteenth edition - is one of the most influential books ever written about art. His books further include The Sense of Order (1979) and The Preference for the Primitive (2002), as well as a total of 11 volumes of collected essays and reviews.Gombrich was born in Vienna in 1909 and died in London in November 2001. He came to London in 1936 to work at the Warburg Institute, where he eventually became Director from 1959 until his retirement in 1976. He won numerous international honours, including a knighthood, the Order of Merit and the Goethe, Hegel and Erasmus prizes. Gifted with a powerful mind and prodigious memory, he was also an outstanding communicator, with a clear and forceful prose style. His works are models of good art-historical writing, and reflect his humanism and his deep and abiding concern with the standards and values of our cultural heritage.
Phaidon Press has produced a much-improved edition of Sir Ernst Gombrich's classic narrative study of art history, which was first published in 1950. Among the many competing introductory texts‘the central monuments of which are H.W. Janson's History of Art (Prentice, 1986. 4th. ed.) and Helen Gardner's Art Through the Ages (4th ed. o.p.)‘Gombrich's venerable work has inhabited a unique niche, having been created specifically for newcomers to art. As his title indicates, he presents the whole of art history as a chronological narrative. Gombrich's voice is lively, opinionated, and almost conversational, yet his erudition shines through to make a book that is both accessible and informative. His premise, that the love of art, not the love of history, is the appropriate basis for its study is communicated directly with his irrepressible enthusiasm for certain masters and his passionate exasperation with 20th century nonobjective artists. While much of the text is unchanged, the format has been completely redesigned with vastly expanded illustrations, improved captions, better charts and an excellent index. This book belongs on every art-lover's bedside table, and even those libraries owning an earlier edition would not regret adding this refinement of an already first-rate work.‘Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.
" - The story is told in a clear and fluent narrative that covers the entire world and the whole of human history in a well-planned sequence of 21 chapters - The Story of Architecture brings understanding and insight for those who have encountered the world's architectural heritage in their travels or through the media, and seek to explore it further - " Perspective " - a book that has already become seminal among students of architecture - there is not much that the distinguished professor misses, as he roams the architectural world, asking, "why is it like this?" The Times Literary Supplement " - required reading for anyone interested in the evolution of a noble art form. ..The story is told in a clear and fluent narrative which covers the entire world and the whole of human history. That is some achievement. ..the author draws on hid own architectural experience to inspire the reader to enter the mind of the architect - " The Yorkshire Evening Press "Nuttgens proceeds on two fronts. First - this is a signal strength - he writes with an architect's sense of how buildings are actually built, how they manage to stay up; he gently leads the reader through a crash course - in the fundamental principles of construction. He is also industrious in describing the social and political context within which building took place - This book is a treasury of facts - " The Tablet "Patrick Nuttgens' The Story of Architecture has taken honours among introductory architecture texts since its publication. - Along with an excellent bibiography, the book boasts all the appurtenances desirable in such a work - time lines, maps, and thumbnail biographies of 125 historic and contemporary architects. - Nuttgens avoids the jargon of the trade, proving - again - that plain old English is perfectly capable of describing complex creations, evolutions, architects and buildings. - more than 400 well-chosen and expertly reproduced illustrations - In an era when so much writing on architecture is either diatribe or gibberish, Nuttgens' approach is a relief. His account is comprehensive, cosmopolitan, judicious, and generous. " World Architecture