Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith - Civilisations (Hardback)
  • Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith - Civilisations (Hardback)

Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith - Civilisations (Hardback)

Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 01/03/2018
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One of a series of companion volumes accompanying the major new BBC documentary series Civilisations, presented by Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama

The idea of 'civilisation' has always been debated, even fought over. At the heart of those debates lies the big question of how people - from prehistory to the present day - have depicted themselves and others, both human and divine.

Distinguished historian Mary Beard explores how art has shaped, and been shaped by, the people who created it. How have we looked at these images? Why have they sometimes been so contentious?

In Part One, she examines how the human figure was portrayed in some of the earliest art in the world - from the gigantic stone heads carved by the Olmec of Central America to the statues and pottery of the ancient Greeks to the terracotta army of the first emperor of China. And she explains how one particular version of representing the human body, which goes back to the ancient world, still influences (and sometimes distorts) how people in the West see their own culture and that of others.

Throughout this story, she is concerned not only with the artists who made images, but with those who have used them, viewed them and interpreted them. In other words: How Do We Look?

In Part Two, Mary Beard turns to the relationship between art and religion. For centuries, religion has inspired art: from the Hindu temple at Angkor Wat to the Christian mosaics of Ravenna to the exquisite calligraphy of Islamic mosques. But making the divine visible in the human world has never been simple. All religions have wrestled with idolatry and iconoclasm, destroying art as well as creating it - and asking how to look with The Eye of Faith.

Read the companion volume, Civilisations: First Contact/ The Cult of Progress in which historian David Olusoga looks to piece together the shared histories that connect nations across the world.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781259993
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 675 g
Dimensions: 230 x 160 x 25 mm
Edition: Main


Praise for Mary Beard:

'She's pulled off that rare trick of becoming a don with a high media profile who hasn't sold out, who is absolutely respected by the academy for her scholarship ... what she says is always powerful and interesting' - Guardian

'An irrepressible enthusiast with a refreshing disregard for convention.' - FT

'With such a champion as Beard to debunk and popularise, the future of the study of classics is assured.' - Daily Telegraph 

'Dynamically, wittily and authoritatively brings the ancient world to life.' - Simon Sebag Montefiore

Praise for SPQR:

'Fast-moving, exciting, psychologically acute, warmly sceptical' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

'Vastly engaging ... a tremendously enjoyable and scholarly read.' - Natalie Haynes, Observer

'Sustaining the energy that such a topic demands for more than 600 pages, while providing a coherent answer to the question of why Rome expanded so spectacularly, is hugely ambitious. Beard succeeds triumphantly ... full of insights and delights ... SPQR is consistently enlivened by Beard's eye for detail and her excellent sense of humour.' - Sunday Times 

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