For sheer range of insight this book is stunning. Gombrich has managed to combine an intimate knowledge of information theory, psychology, social psychology and philosophy along with a highly erudite knowledge of the history of art to create a springboard for investigation. It is the kind of book that I wish had been available when I was a teenager wondering what was possible in the world of scholarship.
Gombrich is able to draw clear links and connections between human psychology and the artistic expression over time. His insights open windows to new ideas that can be read easily by laymen with only a little foreknowledge of art history. The breadth of his knowledge is startling and his careful and witty presentation is a pleasure to read. He never talks down to the reader. The only criticism is that some of the illustrations are too small, especially those in the chapter on Raphael's Stanza. I would have happy paid more if an increase in picture size happened to mean more paper was consumed.