Pictorial perception as illusion

British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (3):268-279 (2007)
The focus of this paper is on E. H. Gombrich's claim that pictorial perception is a case of illusion. My aim is to point out that, on the one hand, the interpretation of this claim that is widely accepted in pictorial theory is not supported by Gombrich's analysis of pictorial perception; and, on the other hand, that the interpretation of the claim that I see as more compatible with Gombrich's analysis is not consistent with relevant facts about our relation to pictures. However, I will argue, Gombrich's elaboration of the claim of illusion is significant to the extent that it highlights important aspects of the system of pictorial representation.
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