Reading Notes – ‘The Story of Art’ by EH Gombrich

In early lockdown I enjoyed reading this slab of a book on art history. It starts with cave paintings which felt strangely pertinent as we all hunkered down for lockdown. Despite its 700 pages, its actually a pretty pacy whirl through art history. His language is clear and non-pretentious and the layout is impeccable. Full marks for usability – if he talks a bit a painting, he puts a full colour decent sized reproduction in! It’s a pretty ‘conventional’ and mainstream version of art history, and of course there’s barely a woman in it, and the artist is always a ‘he’. But what he does write about is insightful and useful.

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