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How Do We Look

The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization
Narrated by: Mary Beard
Length: 2 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity. Conceived as an accompaniment to How Do We Look and The Eye of Faith, the famed Civilizations shows on PBS, renowned classicist Mary Beard has created this elegant volume on how we have looked at art. Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art of the ancient world, and explains how it came to define the so-called civilized world. In Part II, Beard chronicles some of the most breathtaking religious imagery ever made - whether at Angkor Wat, Ravenna, Venice, or in the art of Jewish and Islamic calligraphers - to show how all religions, ancient and modern, have faced irreconcilable problems in trying to picture the divine. With this classic volume, Beard redefines the Western- and male-centric legacies of Ernst Gombrich and Kenneth Clark.

©2018 Mary Beard (P)2018 Profile Audio

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really needs a PDF

I wish there was a pdf with pictures of all the artwork she was describing. I felt like I was missing half the story when I could not see the work she was talking about.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

I love Mary Beard but...

This was enjoyable but much too short espec. since the cost surpassed SPQR I love Prf Beards work but feel ripped off at the brevity of this book, the length of a long essay, certainly not enough for a dissertation! Come on Prof, you are concerned with the life of ordinary claasic Romans give some thought to ordinary peeps trying to learn sans Oxford
Love all her writing though and this, very lighty touchs on art history topics which deserve arguably a book each alone This was a tantillizing canape without the meal...drunk on possibility which never appeared Well you left me wanting more and heres me thinking I had actually recived more Cannot recomend, breaks my heart, but only a tease, not a learn or a relax Kept waiting for substance

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  • Samantha
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 10-21-18

Informative, expansive and entertaining!

Informative across multiple cultures. Brings images to the mind’s eye. And wonderful stories of history.