How Art Made the World
By (author) Nigel Spivey
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How Art Made the World by Nigel Spivey
Book DescriptionAmbitious in scale and far-reaching in scope, "How Art Made the World" is a fresh introduction to the history of art and, through the visual image, the history of humankind. Embarking with the motto 'Everyone is an artist', Nigel Spivey takes us on a quest to find out when and how we humans acquired and then exploited our unique capacity for symbolic representation. In the late nineteenth century, the first discoveries of prehistoric painting were greeted with incredulity. How could there have been such deft and skilful artists in the world over 30,000 years ago? The exploration of this mystery leads to a trail of further intriguing problems. Images came to us before the written word - so how did we use images to tell stories? The representation of our human form has been a preoccupation of artists through the centuries - so why is it that from the very beginning we have preferred images of the body with distorted or exaggerated features? By what means did we define some supernatural presence as immortal and 'invisible', and then attempt to visualize it? And when did our environment become styled as a 'landscape'? In answering these questions and many more, Nigel Spivey takes us on a journey that also reveals how art has been used as a means of mass persuasion, essential to the creation of hierarchical societies, and finally, the extent to which art has served as a mode of 'terror management' in the face of our inevitable death. Packed with new insights into ancient wonders and fascinating stories from all around the globe, "How Art Made the World" is a compelling account of how humans made art and how art makes us human.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780563522058
(253mm x 198mm x 24mm)
Imprint: BBC Books
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publish Date: 28-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Nigel Spivey
Classical Civilization, Paperback (November 2016)
A masterly account of how the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome came into being, by a prize-winning Cambridge classicist whose writing is as accessible as it is scholarly.
Greek Sculpture, Paperback (January 2013)
Explains the social function and aesthetic achievement of Greek sculpture from c.750 BC to the end of antiquity.
Ancient Olympics, Paperback (June 2012)
A portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault. After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means.
Panorama of the Classical World, Paperback (September 2008)» View all books by Nigel Spivey
The starting-point for everything we understand about philosophy, science, literature and art, the world of ancient Greece and Rome makes an extraordinary story in its own right. This book brings Greeks, Etruscans and Romans to life for the general reader, and expands the knowledge of the professional scholar.
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Author Biography - Nigel Spivey
Nigel Spivey is a lecturer in Classics at Cambridge University, and a fellow of Emmanuel College. His publications include the prize-winning Understanding Greek Sculpture (1996) and other books on Greek and Etruscan art, as well as the widely acclaimed Enduring Creation: Art, Pain and Fortitude (2001). He is the presenter of the BBC television series How Art Made the World, which this book accompanies.
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