Can someone explain to me what Gombrich is talking about in the introduction of Art and Illusion?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the questions that emerges from the introduction to Gombrich's work that is central to his ideas.  The question of, ‘Why is it that different ages and different nations have represented the visible world in such different ways," helps to frame Gombrich's discussion.  The idea of being able to examine how perception has been an element that has changed over time and been subject to how individuals sense their own reality and sense of social being in the world is something that Gombrich analyzes at length in his work.  His introduction helps to set this stage for understanding how perception is something that is both physical, in the act of seeing, and psychological in terms of the internal "baggage" that individuals carry and transfer into this physical act upon the analysis of art.  In this light, Gombrich raises what questions as to what constitutes objective reality in the experience of art and fuses into it the inevitable role of subjectivity in this process.