The Story of Art
"The Story of Art", one of the best-known and best-loved books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over half a century. Professor Gombrich's clear and engaging text combines with hundreds of full-colour illustrations to trace the history of art in an unfolding narrative, from primitive cave paintings to controversial art works of the present day.
'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, 27 January 1950 'The country's bestselling book on art, never out of print, still in demand (and not just by students) and one of the few "gift books" that actually gets read. The work is not so simplistic as the title implies, but it is this very title that rendered the book enormously attractive in 1950 to a new sort of book buyer: the self-educator. This field was set to grow, publishers eagerly wooing punters into buying the one big book on every impossibly massive but key subject. But with Gombrich, art was all sewn up.' The Times
Preface / Introduction - On art and artists / Strange Beginnings - Prehistoric and primitive peoples; Ancient America / Art for Eternity - Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete / The Great Awakening - Greece, seventh to fifth century BC / The Realm of Beauty - Greece and the Greek world, fourth century BC to first century AD / World Conquerors - Romans, Buddhists, Jews and Christians, first to fourth century AD / A Parting of Ways - Rome and Byzantium, fifth to thirteenth century / Looking Eastwards - Islam, China, second to thirteenth century / Western Art in the Melting Pot - Europe, sixth to eleventh century / The Church Militant - The twelfth century / The Church Triumphant - The thirteenth century / Courtiers and Burghers - The fourteenth century / The Conquest of Reality - The early fifteenth century / Tradition and Innovation I - The later fifteenth century in Italy / Tradition and Innovation II - The fifteenth century in the North / Harmony Attained - Tuscany and Rome, early sixteenth century / Light and Colour - Venice and northern Italy, early sixteenth century / The New Learning Spreads - Germany and the Netherlands, early sixteenth century/ A Crisis of Art - Europe, later sixteenth century / Vision and Visions - Catholic Europe, first half of the seventeenth century / The Mirror of Nature - Holland, seventeenth century / Power and Glory I - Italy, later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries / Power and Glory II - France, Germany and Austria, late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries / The Age of Reason - England and France, eighteenth century / The Break in Tradition - England, America and France, late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries / Permanent Revolution - The nineteenth century / In Search of New Standards - The late nineteenth century/ Experimental Art - The first half of the twentieth century / A Story Without End - The triumph of Modernism / Another turning of the tide / The changing past/ A note on art books / Chronological charts / List of illustrations by location / Detailed list of illustrations / Index and glossary / Acknowledgements