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The Image and the Eye: Further Studies in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation Paperback – 29 Sep 1994


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Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, OM, CBE (30 March 1909 - 3 November 2001) was an Austrian-born art historian who spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom. He is the author of many works of art criticism and art history. (Photograph: Pino Guidolotti)

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'A generous clarity of style and a quite breathtaking amplitude of reference. Gombrich's unique combination of wisdom and curiosity is exhilarating.' (The Sunday Times)

About the Author

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.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
On how we perceive visual input and how our brain processes it 21 Sep 2008
By A. Panda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book explains how we perceive and how sensory input from the eye is interpreted and "shaped" by our brains. The author makes emphasis on how our brains put perspective onto the visual input they receive. He explains how the image is formed and sometimes "completed" by our brains, explaining a bit how the brain's tendency to abstraction works. He mentions why a drawing of the outline of an object can be perfectly interpreted by our brains like corresponding to the object and even mentions that we consider art more beautiful when it corresponds with our "abstraction" capacity than when it corresponds to reality, since it "appeals" more to our brains.

The author has a great knowledge of the visual arts and of the history of art, so he uses examples from the artistic world (including photography) to illustrate his points. He gives various examples with pictures in which you can see them with different perspectives, thereby changing the image you "see". He was probably a pioneer in trying to merge his knowledge of art (at which he is a reknown authority - See The Story of Art, 16th Edition (Gombrich, Ernst Hans Josef//Story of Art)) with the emerging neurosciences.

This is a highly recomendable book. There are probably a lot of new discoveries in this area, since neurosciences have seen a great development in recent years and since the book is not new. However, I have not seen a more recent book on these topics and definitely not one that combines these studies with art. So although probably dated I found the book very refreshing and with new insights.
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