On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea

On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea

Hardback Secker & Warburg

By (author) Umberto Eco

List price $46.81

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Paperback $23.59
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 182mm x 242mm x 31mm | 1,356g
  • Publication date: 21 October 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0436205173
  • ISBN 13: 9780436205170
  • Illustrations note: 220
  • Sales rank: 92,241

Product description

Beauty is neither a history of art, nor a history of aesthetics but Umberto Eco draws on the histories of both these disciplines to define the ideas of beauty that have informed sensibilities from the classical world to modern times. In terms of form and style, Beauty has been conceived for a vast and diversified readership: taking in painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, the decorative arts, novels and poems, it offers a rich and intelligent panorama of this huge subject. It traces the philosophy of aesthetics through history and examines some of the many treatises that have sought to define it. Beauty is Umberto Eco at his most captivating and eclectic: we read not only of Botticelli and Michelangelo but of how the fashion of the 1960s owes much to ancient Egyptian dress, and how ancient Roman and eighteenth-century hairstyles have much in common. It makes the familiar new, and sheds a brilliant new light on the unfamiliar. Illustrated in full colour throughout and produced to the highest standards, Beauty is an indispensable book.

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Author information

Umberto Eco is the author of four bestselling novels, The Name of The Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of The Day Before and, most recently, Baudolino. His collections of essays include Five Moral Pieces, Kant and the Platypus, Serendipities, Travels In Hyperreality, and How To Travel With a Salmon and Other Essays. A Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna, Umberto Eco lives in Italy.

Review quote

"A book to ogle, but also a subtle provocative cultural history" Peter Conrad, Observer 20041221