Ernst Gombrich (1909–2001) was an Austrian art historian. Born in Vienna, Gombrich studied at the Theresianum and then at the University of Vienna under Julius von Schlosser. After graduating, he worked as a Research Assistant and collaborator with the museum curator and Freudian analyst Ernst Kris. He joined the Warburg Institute in London as a Research Assistant in 1936 and was named Director in 1959. His major works include The Story of Art, Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation, Aby Warburg: An Intellectual Biography, The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art.


Portrait of the Artist as a Paradox

Rembrandt's Eyes

by Simon Schama
Under the title Rembrandt by Himself, the National Gallery of London (sponsored by Thames and Hudson) last summer mounted an exhibition—later moved to The Hague—of painted and etched self-portraits by the Dutch master extending from his early years in Leiden to the last years of his life. There can have …

In the Giving Vein


by Jean Starobinski, translated by Jane Marie Todd
The cover of this sumptuous publication is graced with the enlarged reproduction of a ravishing drawing by Correggio, representing the naked Eve holding an apple in her left hand, and apparently looking seductively at the beholder. We are entitled to assume that the image was chosen to illustrate Largesse—the ostensible …

The Miracle at Chauvet

Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave, The Oldest Known Paintings in the World

by Jean-Marie Chauvet and Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire

The Cave Beneath the Sea: Paleolithic Images at Cosquer

by Jean Clottes and Jean Courtin
Magnum miraculum est homo (man is a great miracle). These opening words of an esoteric text much beloved of Renaissance philosophers came to my mind when turning the pages of the two spectacular books under review, pages that illustrate the works of men, some of whom lived about 30,000 years …


Three Essays on Style

by Erwin Panofsky, edited by Irving Lavin, with a memoir by William S. Heckscher

Perspective as Symbolic Form

by Erwin Panofsky, translated by Christopher S. Wood
“Expulsion into Paradise” was Erwin Panofsky’s characteristic remark in the spring of 1933, when he received the letter that deprived him of his chair in art history at Hamburg University because of his “race.” He had been so fortunate as to enjoy the foretaste of Paradise before, having divided his …

Keeping Up with Leonardo

Inventing Leonardo

by A. Richard Turner
The arresting title of Richard Turner’s interesting reflections on the vicissitudes of Leonardo’s fame is derived from the essay by Paul Valéry of 1895, “Introduction to the Method of Leonardo da Vinci,” in which the French poet confesses that “knowing very little” about him, he had “invented a Leonardo of …

What Art Tells Us

History and Its Images: Art and the Interpretation of the Past

by Francis Haskell
With his splendidly written and beautifully produced book Francis Haskell has broken entirely new ground. There are libraries full of books on the history and method of historiography dealing with the development of historical criticism, the use of charters and documents, and (more recently) with the statistical evaluation of personal …