Excerpt taken from Princeton University Press
Considered a great classic by all who seek for a meeting ground between science and the humanities, Art and Illusion examines the history and psychology of pictorial representation in light of present-day theories of visual perception information and learning. Searching for a rational explanation of the changing styles of art, Gombrich reexamines many ideas on the imitation of nature and the function of tradition. In testing his arguments he ranges over the history of art, noticing particularly the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, and the visual discoveries of such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt, as well as the impressionists and the cubists. Gombrich's triumph in Art and Illusion arises from the fact that his main concern is less with the artists than with ourselves, the beholders.
“[Sir Ernst's] own theory of perception, put forward in Art and Illusion . . . arguably his most important book, was controversial in almost every detail. But it brought the topic of the visual back to the centre of the history of the visual arts, from where it had been strangely displaced.”—The Economist
About the author
Austrian-born art historian Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich (1909 – 2001) spent most of his working life in England. He was the author of many works of cultural history and art history including The Story of Art, The Image and the Eye, and The Uses of Images. Studies in the Social Function of Art and Visual Communication.