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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A serious consideration of the subject, 15 Jan 2009
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Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
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The Sexual Perspective - Homosexuality and the Last 100 Years in the West. Published 1986. ISBN 0710096356 Paperback 9" x 6" (22.6 cm x 15.2 cm)

This book has been revised and updated and republished in 1994; the review here is for the original publication of 1986. (Beware that Amazon often link different editions of a book.)

Emanuel Cooper provides a survey of the work of many artists who according to the book cover "were or are homosexual, or had significant homosexual experiences". Although concentrating on the last 100 years by way of introduction he looks back to the Renaissance. He considers such aspects as sexual aesthesis, the sexual code, and looks at influences such as the Greeks, and at changing legal and social attitudes. In his discussions Cooper considers both the lives of the artists and their work. The book includes notes and an index but there is no bibliography.

The list of artists includes: Donatello, Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Gustave Moreau, Aubrey Beardsley, Gwen John, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Jean Cocteau, Christopher Wood, Duncan Grant, Tamara de Lempicka, Edward Burra, Paul Cadmus, John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Francis Bacon, Quaintance, Andy Warhol, Michael Leonard, Philip Core, Delmas Howe, Gilbert and George and many more.

The book is illustrated throughout with 130 monochrome images. It is a serious consideration of the subject; the survey covers a wide range including a few sculptors, photographers such as Mapplethorpe as well as those one might consider illustrators such as Tom of Finland. It also includes some such as Henry Scott Tuke who not all would agree fit the stated aims of the book, scholars of Tuke questioning any homosexual inclinations. Some may question on similar grounds the inclusion of other artists here, but that in no way devalues their art. Yet there is no mention of Fairfield Porter, who while married carried on a long term relationship with poet James Schuyler. There are a couple of chapters on lesbian art (the revised 1994 edition expands on this and also includes responses to AIDS).

To describe this book as the publishers do as "lavishingly and seductively illustrated" is something of an exaggeration, the pictures can at best described as informative and the rarity value of some makes them worthwhile, but the book is not large in format and few of the images attain to full page, and many of them in monochrome appear decidedly dull. But they are enough maybe to encourage the reader to search out decent reproductions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
This review is from: The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West (Perfect Paperback)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sexual Perspective., 27 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West (Perfect Paperback)
This book is totally illuminating, examining the subtilty by which art and the artists have communicated their sexual preference over the past 100 years. The books research detail is amazing, and I am sure this will be a book of reference for art scholars for many years to come. Emmanuel has demystified many works, and exposed the true record the artist wished to deliver. He does so with intellect, sensitivity and great skill. Anyone interested in the arts should read this book.

The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book but..., 18 Mar 2009
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This review is from: The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West (Perfect Paperback)
A very good title. It's a shame that the two copies sent by amazon was damaged.
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