There are many different editions of The Story of Art, but I’m happy with my slightly scruffy twelfth-edition, which my mum received for Christmas in 1975. She passed it on to me about eight years ago, when I expressed an interest in art history. It’s taken awhile, but I’ve finally managed to read the whole book.
I can’t say that I’m now an expert, but this book has given me a well-rounded introduction to the history of art, starting with the cave paintings of the prehistoric and primitive peoples. From there we learn about Ancient Egyptian art, then travel to more adventurous art in Greece. We learn about how art was born, how it changed, when it was stifled and when it thrived. Gombrich takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the different ages, explaining how art adapted for different purposes, how artists experimented and how other nations and generations influenced the next stage in the history of art. Continue reading