On Beauty : A History of a Western Idea
On Beauty is neither a history of art, nor a history of aesthetics, but Umberto Eco draws on both these disciplines to define the ideas of beauty that have informed us from the classical world to modern times. In terms of form and style, On Beauty has been conceived for a vast and diverse readership. Packed with examples from painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, the decorative arts and literature, it offers a rich and intelligent panorama of this huge subject. In On Beauty Eco is at his most captivating and eclectic: we read not only of Botticelli and Michelangelo but of how much the fashion of the 1960s owes 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 light on the unfamiliar. On Beauty is illustrated in full colour throughout and produced to the highest standards.
- Paperback | 440 pages
- 162 x 205 x 29mm | 836g
- 30 Sep 2010
- Quercus Publishing
- MacLehose Press
- London, United Kingdom
- 4-col illustrations
Table of contents
Introduction. Comparative Tables. The Aesthetic Ideal in Ancient Greece. Apollonian and Dionysiac. Beauty as Proportion and Harmony. Light and Colour in the Middle Ages. The Beauty of Monsters. From the Pastourelle to the Donna Angelicata. Magic Beauty between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Ladies and Heroes. From Grace to Disquieting Beauty. Reason and Beauty. The Sublime. Romantic Beauty. The Religion of Beauty. The New Object. The Beauty of Machines. From Abstract Forms to the Depths of Material. The Beauty of the Media. Bibliographic References of Translations. Index of Authors. Index of Artists.
'Over more than 400 pages Eco displays his polymathic qualities, ranging over diverse subjects to produce a comprehensive definition of beauty. Utilising examples of literature, sculpture, painting, photography and film among other areas, Eco asks what beauty is and why it matters so much. The volume is lavishly produced... with exquisite images' Fatchna Kelly and Julian Fleming, Sunday Business Post. * Sunday Business Post *
About Umberto Eco
Umberto Eco's first novel, The Name of the Rose (1982), was a huge bestseller which brought him worldwide acclaim. With his subsequent works of fiction, philosophy, literary criticism and semiotics, he has been recognised as one of Europe's finest thinkers. He is currently President of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Humanistici and the University of Bologna.