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Language of the Body: Drawings by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon

John Elderfield; Robert Gordon

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ISBN 10: 0810935856 / ISBN 13: 9780810935853
Published by Harry N. Abrams, Boston, Massachusetts, 1996
Used Condition: Near Fine to Fine Oversized Hardcover
From Seacoast Books (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

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

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Bibliographic Details

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

About this title


221 pages with 57 colour plates and 57 duotone illustrations


Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758-1823), a French artist best known as a painter of mythological and allegorical scenes, also made chalk studies of nude figures - called "academies" - throughout his career. These drawings are the subject of this book, in which 57 examples of Prud'hon's work are accompanied by text exploring their style and what they say about the artist's place among his contemporaries. Unlike many artists of the period, who worked from live models only during their formative years, Prud'hon never stopped drawing from life, and his male and female nudes and drapery sketches are among the most beautiful drawings of the time. The author explores the technical qualities of these works, the language of their gesture, and the nature of their sensual appeal.

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