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Body, The: Images of the Nude Hardcover – 12 Oct 1981

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & H.; 1st Edition edition (12 Oct 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050023339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500233399
  • Product Dimensions: 30.7 x 25.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,076,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Body, The: Images of the Nude by Lucie-Smith, Edward

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Body’ is one of Edward Lucie-Smith’s many books covering a myriad aspects of art, movements, styles, individual artists and influences.

This one addresses ‘the artist’s, and the viewer’s, reactions to the perennial theme of the unclothed figure in western art’. 173 Illustrations, the great majority as colour plates, provide a visual background as the author discusses the nude from seven chronological perspectives, from Antiquity and the Renaissance, to Modernism. An Introduction considers the nude across art history before the works are presented, in groups, each accompanied by a critical commentary.

The works range from an ink on limestone drawing of an Egyptian “Acrobatic Dancer”, c. 1305-1080 BC, to Michael Leonard’s pencil drawing “Stripped Torso 6”, 1980. The illustration on the front jacket cover is a detail from “Half-length Nude”, 1929, by Christian Schad, an excellent choice albeit a difficult one given the thousands of images available.

Lucie-Smith shows his usual ability to express in a sentence or two the germ of an idea which many art scholars and catalogue-writers spin out over pages with jargon-filled tortuous paragraphs, ‘People who are naked feel, perhaps irrationally, far more exposed to danger than they might with their clothes on. Who would not prefer to be clothed when caught in the middle of an earthquake or an air-raid?’

Or, when talking about Symbolism, ‘The movement is often seen as something hermetic, and this indeed was an interpretation which many of its adherents quite deliberately invited. But there was more to it than this – ambiguity was not merely something negative, but a source of ideas and sensations which could be reached by no other route. The symbol was thought of as a catalyst’.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Well illustrated by a fine art historian 21 Feb 2014
By Alaskaguy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edward Lucie-Smith is in a class by himself as an art historian. I'm gradually building a collection of his books, both for insightful historical insights and for his choice of illustrations. The body is a large format book, about 9 1/2 x 12 inches (24 x 30 cm). The pictures are well photographed, well printed, full color and mostly full page. There are a lot of familiar pictures here, and a surprizing number that were previously unfamiliar to me, even though by well known artists. Lucie-Smith's choice of illustrations cover about 3000 years of painting, but mostly emphasize the last 500 years of realistic representational painting. This work nicely complements Lidia Guibert Ferrara's Reclining Nude.Reclining Nude
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