How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization

How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization Review

Conceived as a gorgeously illustrated accompaniment to “How Do We Look” and “The Eye of Faith,” the famed Civilisations 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.

Title:How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Margaret Sankey

    A beautiful and witty art survey, about one of my favorite subjects--people and how they represent themselves. What does it mean politically and socially to be painted "warts and all," or as a hundred...

  • Joshua

    How Do We Look offers the reader a question well worth exploring: how do humans use art to explain how they think and feel about themselves. This is a question stolen directly from an Intro to Art syl...

  • Lily Green

    Very informative and easy to read prose! This would be a fantastic addition to a 100 level art history class....

  • Akemi G.

    The premise of this book is intriguing. Art history often focuses on the artists, and sometimes their models, but seldom the viewers. However, as commissioners of the artwork, as art dealers, and as c...

  • Katie

    I really like Mary Beard and her perspective on human civilization through her expertise in antiquity. This book focuses on the question of who are we when we are looking at art, not only how do we se...

  • Tessy Consentino

    Fascinating read on art and sculpture and how people from long ago memorialized themselves and others. ...

  • Patricia

    This was accessible and interesting, which are two things I wouldn't often say about art history. ...

  • Phil

    Sumptuously produced, it was an easy read in one sitting on a rainy afternoon.Mary Beard is a classicist of the highest order, yet this book was, for me, a prime example of overreaching. Her credentia...

  • Rachel

    I read it. It happened. ...

  • Joseph

    This book is, to the best of my knowledge, a companion to the new rendition of "Civilizations" that aired on PBS a few months ago. If you have not watched the new series, I highly recommend it. Among...