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On Beauty : A History of a Western Idea - Umberto Eco

On Beauty

A History of a Western Idea

By: Umberto Eco, Alastair McEwen (Transcribed by)

Paperback Published: 30th September 2010
ISBN: 9780857050205
Number Of Pages: 440

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On Beauty is neither a history of art, nor a history of aesthetics, but Umberto Eco draws on both these disciplines to define the ideas of beauty that have informed us from the classical world to modern times.

In terms of form and style, On Beauty has been conceived for a vast and diverse readership. Packed with examples from painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, the decorative arts and literature, it offers a rich and intelligent panorama of this huge subject.

In On Beauty Eco is at his most captivating and eclectic: we read not only of Botticelli and Michelangelo but of how much the fashion of the 1960s owes to ancient Egyptian dress, and how ancient Roman and eighteenth-century hairstyles have much in common. It makes the familiar new, and sheds a brilliant light on the unfamiliar. On Beauty is illustrated in full colour throughout and produced to the highest standards.

Industry Reviews

'Over more than 400 pages Eco displays his polymathic qualities, ranging over diverse subjects to produce a comprehensive definition of beauty. Utilising examples of literature, sculpture, painting, photography and film among other areas, Eco asks what beauty is and why it matters so much. The volume is lavishly produced... with exquisite images' Fatchna Kelly and Julian Fleming, Sunday Business Post. Sunday Business Post

Introduction. Comparative Tables. The Aesthetic Ideal in Ancient Greece. Apollonian and Dionysiac. Beauty as Proportion and Harmony. Light and Colour in the Middle Ages. The Beauty of Monsters. From the Pastourelle to the Donna Angelicata. Magic Beauty between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Ladies and Heroes. From Grace to Disquieting Beauty. Reason and Beauty. The Sublime. Romantic Beauty. The Religion of Beauty. The New Object. The Beauty of Machines. From Abstract Forms to the Depths of Material. The Beauty of the Media. Bibliographic References of Translations. Index of Authors. Index of Artists.

ISBN: 9780857050205
ISBN-10: 0857050206
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 30th September 2010
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.7 x 15.2  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.85
Edition Number: 1

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Umberto Eco

About the Author


Umberto Eco has written works of fiction, literary criticism and philosophy.

His first novel, The Name Of The Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island Of The Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana and The Prague Cemetery, along with many brilliant collections of essays.

He passed away at age 84.

Visit Umberto Eco's Booktopia Author Page