Gombrich The Visual Image: Its Place In Communication Summary

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BOOK REVIEW: GOMBRICH - The Visual Image: its Place in Communication “The Image and the Eye: Further Studies in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation” was written by Ernst Gombrich, an art historian. A chapter in this book, “The Visual Image: its Place in Communication”, it provides an opportunity for him to discuss our visual era, specifically the importance of identifying the potentialities of an image in communication. He argues that we need to acknowledge the point that people interpret images differently. However, he suggests that understanding the potentialities of an image could make it possible for an image to communicate in a way that is shared. This would happen by learning about key features that some images contain. This review will look at three ways through which Gombrich develops his argument concerning the…show more content…
For instance, the bathroom signs that Gombrich uses, prove his point. One cannot put a bathroom sign outside his/her dining room, it won’t make sense. As Gombrich says, “the context alone can make the visual message unambiguous even without the use of words.” (p. 46). This implies that the context is a strong tool for understanding the potentialities of the images.
As an interesting note, Gombrich reminds us that artists sometimes intend to convey particular message but because their work of art lacks the context, caption and code, are unable to convey it which might lead to what seems like a wrong interpretation. However, these “wrong” interpretations do not go against the artist work and hence it only “speaks against the equation of art with communication” (p. 64) which happens to be acceptable. I believe that this holds true because only by identifying different perceptions of an image can we completely exploit the potential of an

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