The classical human body is perhaps the single most important and wide-ranging legacy bequeathed to the modern world by antiquity. Not only has it directed the evolutionary trajectory of western art; it has also saturated almost every aspect of the contemporary subconscious, as ideal, anti-type and point of departure. This short book represents the first concerted attempt to grapple with the complex nature of that legacy. Writing in an attractive and accessible style, and supplementing his text with a rich array of illustrations, Michael Squire guides his readers through a multifaceted range of modern interactions with ancient visual representations of the body. From Byzantine diptych to Hollywood cinema screen, and from Aphrodite to the Venus de Milo, The Art of the Body demonstrates the wide range of cultural ideas and anxieties that were explored by the figure of the body both in antiquity and in the various cultural landscapes that came afterwards. In exploring the fascinating connections between ancient and modern in the broadest sense, the book offers an ideal starting point and a stimulating textbook for undergraduate students of ancient history, classical archaeology and classical civilization.
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