Icons of Beauty [2 volumes]: Art, Culture, and the Image of Women (Greenwood Icons)

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9780313338212: Icons of Beauty [2 volumes]: Art, Culture, and the Image of Women (Greenwood Icons)

What gives beauty such fascinating power? Why is beauty so easy to recognize but so hard to define? Across cultures and continents and over the centuries the standards of beauty have changed but the desire to portray beauty, to praise beauty, and to possess beauty has never diminished. Icons of Beauty offers an enthralling overview of the most revered icons of female beauty in world art from pre-history to the present.

From images of Eve to Cindy Sherman's self-portraits, from Cleopatra to Madonna, from ancient goddesses to modern celebrities, this interdisciplinary set offers fresh insight as to how we can use perceptions of beauty to learn about world cultures, both past and present. Each chapter looks at an individual work of art to pose a question about the power of beauty. What makes beauty modern? What is the influence of celebrities? How do women portray their own beauty in a different manner than men? In-depth profiles of the icons reveal how specific ideas about beauty were developed and expressed, offering a full analysis of their history, cultural significance, and lasting influence. In addition to renowned works of art, Icons of Beauty also looks at icons in literature, film, politics, and contemporary entertainment.

Interdisciplinary and multicultural in its approach, chapters inside this set also feature sidebars on provocative topics and issues, such as foot binding and body adornment; myths and practices; opinions and interpretations; and even related films, songs, and even comic book characters. Generously illustrated, this rich set encompasses history, politics, society, women's studies, and art history, making it an indispensable resource for high school and college students as well as general readers.

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Book Description:

From images of Eve to Cindy Sherman's self-portraits, from Cleopatra to Madonna, from ancient goddesses to modern celebrities, Icons of Beauty offers an enthralling overview of the most revered icons of female beauty in world art from pre-history to the present.

About the Author:

DEBRA N. MANCOFF is the author of books on European and American art and culture, including Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives (1998) and Flora Symbolica: Flowers in Pre-Raphaelite Art (2003). She is Adjunct Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

LINDSAY J. BOSCH received her MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked in the curatorial departments of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. She currently serves as a visual resources cataloger within the Art Institute of Chicago.

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