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...

  • Edgar

    tl;dr: This is an informative, brief read that gives us some insights into art and the relationship we have had with it over time.I was a little surprised to see Olmec art in the book as it is typical...

  • Lily Green

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

  • Patricia

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

  • Henk van Vliet

    “One of its most powerful weapons has always been ‘barbarity’: we know that we are civilised by contrasting ourselves with those we deem to be uncivilised, with those who do not - or cannot be t...

  • 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...

  • Meredith

    It's good. But it felt too short. Probably for the better since the market for people who want to read 600 pages on the topic is limited. It was a snack. ...

  • Tessy Consentino

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