The Story of Art

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The cover of a recent edition of The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich.

The Story of Art, by E. H. Gombrich, is a survey of the history of art from ancient times to the modern era.

First published in 1950, the book is widely regarded both as a seminal work of criticism and as one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts. It was originally intended for younger readers. Over seven million copies have been sold, making it the best selling art book of all time. It is currently in its 16th edition and has been translated into approximately 30 languages.


  • "This is a book which may well affect the thought of a generation."—The Times Literary Supplement (1950).
  • "A pure delight, intellectually and physically."—Professor H.E. Janson, New York University.
  • "First published almost 30 years ago, this is the best-selling book on the history of art - and no wonder. It is comprehensive, lucid, authoritative and - a bonus - warmed throughout by personal enthusiasm."—Sir Hugh Casson, President of the Royal Academy, 1976-84.
  • "An ideal introductory volume for art history."—J. Carter Brown, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington (1983).