Imago Hominis: Studies in the Language of Art

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9780814712313: Imago Hominis: Studies in the Language of Art

In his latest book, renowned art historian Moshe Barasch turns his attention to the image of the human figure in the history of European art from antiquity through the twentieth century. With the assistance of almost 200 illustrations, Barasch shows how images of humanity, far from being mere reflections of nature, are the product of cultural traditions and religious vision.

In all cultures, artists and viewers of art have projected onto the human figure their hidden thoughts and emotions, thereby making it a vessel of symbolic images. Imago Hominis demonstrates how cultural and religious attitudes and beliefs are revealed in individual artistic motifs. Barasch constructs his study around three broad subjects: the human face; the human body; and a specific example of man in one of his social roles. Part One examines Greek masks as articulations of character and states of mind, and traces the afterlife of their physiognomic patterns in European art and aesthetic theory. In the second section, on the human figure as a pathos formula, movements and gestures are analyzed for the manner in which they express the language of art. The final section has as its focus images of the ruler as found in various art forms ranging from late- antique mosaics to equestrian monuments of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

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About the Author:

Moshe Barasch was Jack Cotton Professor of Architecture and Fine Arts at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He wrote numerous books including Icon, Theories of Art, and Modern Theories of Art I and II, all published by NYU Press. A winner of the Israel Prize in 1996, he was elected corresponding member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.

Review:

"Conger offers us a new and complex portrait of the colonial widow. Taking care to distinguish ideology from realities and to recognize regional differences in widows' experiences, Conger shows us the legal, economic, and social impact of the transition from wife to widow. In the process, this richly researched and well written study challenges older, static notions of gender roles in the family and establishes the critical role of widows in the developing colonial economy. Legal scholars, social historians, and economic historians will find this book invaluable to their understanding of early America."
-Carol Berkin, author of "Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence"

"Vivian Bruce Conger focuses her attention on widows' own desires. Through an extensive study of widow's wills, Conger creatively demonstrates the ways that those widows' testamentary decisions reflected their ideals for family and community relationships."-American Historical Review,

"Conger's powerfully argued The Widows' Might rejects the dismissive judgment towards colonial widows by colonial leaders and subsequent historians. A thoroughly researched and carefully argued study, The Widows' Might forces us to rethink the complex ways that colonial society functioned and changed. A must for historians of colonial America and American women."
-William B. Scott, author of "In Pursuit of Happiness: American Conceptions of Property from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century"

"Conger deftly traces the difficult negotiations these women faced as they struggled with both independence and dependence. Her thorough research as well as her broad geographic approach adds depth to her analysis and particular weight to her conclusions."
-Lisa Wilson, author of "Ye Heart of a Man: The Domestic Life of Men in Colonial New England"

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