The Sense of Order

The Sense of Order : Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art

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The Sense of Order provides a comprehensive survey of the rich history and theory of decorative art. The universal human impulse to seek order and rhythm in space and time can be seen in an astonishing range of human activities: children's play, poetry, dance, music and architecture, as well as art. Its persistent prevalence in our every activity calls for a rigorous explanation of this fascinating phenomenon in terms of our biological heritage. Professor Gombrich in this tome, which he himself regarded as his most original work, offers precisely this. His characteristic erudition and expertise signify his writings here as no less than revolutionary in our perception of art and, in turn, of our very selves. A pleasure to read, this pivotal book is as accessible as it is sophisticated, and as engaging as it is idiosyncratic.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 412 pages
  • 203.2 x 261.62 x 27.94mm | 1,428.81g
  • Phaidon Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 0714822590
  • 9780714822594
  • 175,003

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Review quote

'It would be hard to imagine a more intelligent discussion of the natural history of decoration and ornament.' (Jonathan Miller, The Sunday Times)

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About Leonie Gombrich

Sir Ernst Gombrich was one of the greatest and least conventional art historians of his age, achieving fame and distinction in three separate spheres: as a scholar, as a popularizer of art, and as a pioneer of the application of the psychology of perception to the study of art. His best-known book, The Story of Art - first published 50 years ago and now in its 16th edition - is one of the most influential books ever written about art. His books further include Art and Illusion(1979) and The Preference for the Primitive (2002), as well as a total of 11 volumes of collected essays and reviews. Gombrich was born in Vienna in 1909 and died in London in November 2001. He came to London in 1936 to work at the Warburg Institute, where he eventually became Director from 1959 until his retirement in 1976. He won numerous international honours, including a knighthood, the Order of Merit and the Goethe, Hegel and Erasmus prizes. Gifted with a powerful mind and prodigious memory, he was also an outstanding communicator, with a clear and forceful prose style. His works are models of good art-historical writing, and reflect his humanism and his deep and abiding concern with the standards and values of our cultural heritage.

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