"Spivey writes with conviction both about art and about human experience and with an obvious pleasure in language. The opening account of a train trip to the Auschwitz Museum sets the tone for what is always, explicitly or implicitly, more than merely another art historical account."--David B. Morris, author of "Culture of Pain" "A general tour ...
"Spivey writes with conviction both about art and about human experience and with an obvious pleasure in language. The opening account of a train trip to the Auschwitz Museum sets the tone for what is always, explicitly or implicitly, more than merely another art historical account."--David B. Morris, author of "Culture of Pain" "A general tour de force of erudition. [T]he book is very well-written [and] accessible to the general reader."--Alexander Nemerov, author of "The Body of Raphaelle Peale" "The prose is lively and the insights thought-provoking. There is also an engaging, at times moving, personal touch to the book. [I]t will appeal to a wide audience of specialists and nonspecialists alike."--Buchanan Sharp, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Minor rubbing. VG. 26x18cm, 272 pp. "Enduring Creation tells the story of one of the most pervasive, most revealing, most shunned, yet most voyeuristically appealing, relationships in over 2000 years of Western culture: the tender, complex rapport between art and pain. Why have artists of every age been so preoccupied with representing human agony, from the stonebound screams of Classical sculpture to the poised melee of Picasso's Guernica? Beauty and disfigurement, violence and thrill, horror and comfort-these are pairings fostered throughout Western art, for causes as various as religious martyrdom, judicial torment, artistic virtuosity and erotic gratification. The questions they raise are brilliantly addressed in this study. The ancient Greeks invented tragic drama: but how far was pity for tragedy's victims tempered by the notion of revenge? The first Christians preached Christ Crucified: why then did it take some five hundred years before images appeared of Christ on the Cross? The Massacre of the Innocents was an event that never happened: for what reasons were artists of the Italian Renaissance so eager to show it 'convincingly'? Enduring Creation treads through the territory where the images we call 'disturbing'are also often considered 'masterpieces'. Nigel Spivey's narrative begins with a meditation, amid the modern death-camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, on how it is that art can warn, console or prepare us for occasions of grief and outrage.., . "-Publisher's description.
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