Title: Language of the Body: Drawings by ...
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Boston, Massachusetts
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Oversized Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine to Fine
10 1/2" x 13", 221 pp., elegant navy blue cloth with debossed gilt titling to front and spine, in illustrated dust jacket with new Brodart clear cover. A very scarce, highly sought-after title in Near Fine to Fine condition: very minor bumps to a few corners, otherwise Fine/As New. Dust jacket is Near Fine with a few slight imperfections at the edges, which are now minimized by a new Brodart cover; see the photo, which is before the mylar cover was added. 'A treasure for connoisseurs and scholars, this volume showcases the ravishing chalk studies of male and female nude models made after 1800 by famous French painter Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Often called "the French Correggio" for his freewheeling mythological and allegorical canvases, Prud'hon (1758-1823) was an unorthodox public artist of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire. The Romantic generation championed his melancholy, mysterious eroticism, which is on full display in these feminized male bodies and idealized female torsos. Chief curator at large for Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, Elderfield looks at Prud'hon's unhappy life (he separated from his violent, drunken wife after 25 years, gaining custody of his five children when she was committed to an insane asylum) and masterfully analyzes startling works that blur normally separated categories (masculine/feminine, platonic/passionate, cool/ecstatic) in a transgressive fantasy of desire. Gordon is an independent art historian.' - publisher. NF/F. Bookseller Inventory # 02813v
Synopsis: The Language of the Body presents the first full in-depth study of French artist Pierre-Paul Prud'hon's chalk studies of nude figures--called acadýmies--made throughout his career. In his text, John Elderfield, curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, explores the special technical qualities of these works, the language of their gesture, and the nature of their sensual appeal, and discusses Prud'hon's life and work. Following the text are 57 of Prud'hon's finest drawings, carefully selected and arranged by art historian Robert Gordon.
Review: "...Mr. Elderfield offers a brilliant reappraisal of the artist's academies..."
Deborah Soloman, Wall Street Journal, 12/05/1996
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