Gertrud Bing was Fritz Saxl’s assistant and a close associate of Gombrich. She is noted for writing the introduction to the Italian translation of Aby Warburg’s papers.
Gombrich recalls in autobiographical writing that the work of Karl Bühler was an important influence on his own thinking, especially in Art and Illusion. Bühler was a professor of psychology in Vienna during the 1920s and 1930s. In addition, he was an early writer on the Gestalt theory of thinking, which worked its way into the theory of art through Rudolf Arnheim. Perhaps most important for Gombrich was Bühler’s model of communication and his theory of language.
John Constable, an early nineteenth-century English landscape painter, was one of the first painters to consider science and observation in his understanding of painting. Gombrich devotes a chapter of Art and Illusion to Constable and his experiments with paint and light, noting that Constable remarked, ‘‘Painting is a science and should be pursued as in inquiry into the laws of nature. Why, then, may not landscape painting be considered as a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but the experiments?’’ Constable’s ‘‘experiments’’ were an attempt to render paintings that ever more closely resembled the appearance of the scene in front of him. Gombrich suggests that it is only through...
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