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Sir E. H. Gombrich Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich Biography

(1909–2001), Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, The Story of Art, Art and Illusion

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British art historian, born in Vienna, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1933. He emigrated to Britain in 1936, becoming a research assistant at the University of London's Warburg Institute; he remained at the Warburg Institute throughout his career, becoming its Director in 1959 and publishing a biography of its founder, Aby Warburg, in 1970. Gombrich's earliest major publication, The Story of Art (1950, 15th revised edition, 1989), which surveys the development of painting and sculpture from prehistory to the modernist era, is still widely regarded as the best introductory work available. His many more specialized studies include Art and Illusion (1960) and The Sense of Order (1979), which contain his influential writings on the psychology of pictorial representation and aesthetic values. Of central importance to Gombrich's œuvre is Studies in the Art of the Renaissance, which consists of Norm and Form (1966), Symbolic Images (1972), The Heritage of Apelles (1976), and New Light on Old Masters (1986). Among his other works are Means and Ends (1976), on the history of fresco painting, and Oskar Kokoschska in His Time (1986).

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