Gombrich, Sir Ernst Hans

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GOMBRICH, SIR ERNST HANS (1909–2001), British historian of art. Probably the best-known historian of art in modern Britain, Gombrich was born into a cultured Jewish household in Vienna – Freud and Mahler were family friends – where he studied and worked as a museum curator. He was also a member of the famous Vienna Circle of philosophers. Gombrich immigrated to Britain in 1936. He spent virtually all of his professional life at the Warburg Institute in London, serving as its director from 1959 to 1976, and was professor of the history of art at London University. His best-known works include The Story of Art (1950), which has been translated into 20 languages; Art and Illusion (1960); and Meditations on a Hobby Horse (1963). A collection of his writings, The Essential Gombrich, edited by Richard Wood-field, appeared in 1996. Gombrich was knighted in 1972 and appointed to the Order of Merit (o.m.) in 1988.


J.B. Trapp, E.H. Gombrich: A Bibliography (2000).

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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