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Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation Historical Context

Ernst Gombrich
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Historical Context

Gombrich and World War II

Although Gombrich did not publish Art and Illusion until 1960, many of the ideas contained in the book had root in Gombrich's experiences in London during World War II. Critics and biographers alike note this fact, as does Gombrich himself in Part Three of the book. Gombrich developed many of his ideas about perception while working for the British Broadcasting Corporation in their Monitoring Services division. His job was to listen to and translate all radio transmissions coming out of Germany for the six years of the war. Through this surveillance, the British government hoped to gain information about what the Germans had planned. However, often the transmissions were faint or garbled. As a result, Gombrich became skilled at "filling in the gaps," so to speak. As he notes in Art and Illusion,

Some of the transmissions which interested us most were often barely...

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This section contains 570 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation Study Guide
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Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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