Art, Desire and the Body in Ancient Greece

Art, Desire and the Body in Ancient Greece

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The body was central to the visual culture of ancient Greece, reflecting an obsession with physical beauty, integrity, dynamism, and power. In this study, Andrew Stewart analyses the problem of the Greeks' strange preoccupation with nakedness and sketches how artworks filter our understanding of the subject. Exploring selected constructions of gender, ranging from the men of the Parthenon frieze to naked girls on Spartan hand-mirrors, Stewart investigates the Greek body as a microcosm of society, focusing upon figurations of the Athenian body politic, erotica for men and women, and selected representations of the Other, such as Gorgons, Satyrs, Centaurs, and Amazons. A cultural, theoretical and sociological study of this seminal topic, Stewart's analysis offers new insights into the society and mentality of the ancient Greeks.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 215.1 x 278.6 x 16mm | 952.56g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 159 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
  • 0521456800
  • 9780521456807

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Review quote

'This sparky survey offers a critical review of the foreignness of Greek art, focusing in particular on its infatuation with the naked human form, which it sets in the context of the latest literary theory ... This is a readable and far-reaching book, applying theory in ways that are relevant for all art, and rewarding for novice and expert alike.' Museums and Galleries Magazine '... a valuable study - and one which combines a mass of dependable information with a central provocative thesis'. Apollo '... succeeds in 'making this art seem strange', that is, in helping us to see these objects as they might originally have been seen'. The Art Newspaper '...Stewart's book is at once readable and rich in new ideas, the most important contribution to the study of both sexuality and art in the ancient world for some time.' London Review of Books. 'Stewart provides an art history of classical eroticism and self-display that at last matches the sophisticated level of literary studies in this area.' Greece and Rome 'The combination of interesting text and plentiful illustrations ... would make this a desirable aquisition for any library.' Emma J. Stafford, JACT

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