How Art Made the World: A Journey to the Origins of Human Creativity

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9780465081813: How Art Made the World: A Journey to the Origins of Human Creativity

In the late nineteenth century, the first discoveries of prehistoric painting were greeted with incredulity. How could there have been such deft and skillful artists in the world over 30,000 years ago? Noted art historian Nigel Spivey begins with this puzzle to explore the record of humanity's artistic endeavors, and their impact on our own development. How Art Made the World , in conjunction with the PBS miniseries, reveals how artists from the earliest caveman to the most studied Renaissance master have grappled with the same questions in their work: What is a man? Why must we die? Is there a God? With the help of vivid color illustrations of some of the world's most moving and enduring works of art, Spivey shows how that art has been used as a means of mass persuasion, essential to the creation of hierarchical societies, and finally, the extent to which art has served as a mode of terror management in the face of our inevitable death. Packed with new insights into ancient wonders and fascinating stories from all around the globe, How Art Made the World is a compelling account of how humans made art and how art makes us human.

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About the Author:

Nigel Spivey is a lecturer in Classics at Cambridge University. He has written several books on Greek and Etruscan art. He is the presenter of the BBC/PBS television series How Art Made the World,” which this book accompanies. He lives in Cambridge, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

This work, a companion to a PBS miniseries of the same name, explores art as a phenomenon unique to human existence that has evolved in method and purpose, mirroring the scientific, social and cultural advancements in civilizations. As such, Spivey (Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude; Songs on Bronze) draws on a wide range of material: Paleolithic cave paintings, contemporary visions of propaganda and social control, ancient Egyptian and classic Greek sculptures, and images of the divine created in medieval Europe and Buddhist Asia-explaining all these and more in confident, lively prose that brings to life even the least accessible cave scribbles. The book is organized thematically, bringing together disparate works to serve a purpose larger than mere comparison: in his treatment of narrative and storytelling, Spivey considers 20th-century cinema, Australian aboriginal rock painting, Mesopotamian and Greek epic poetry, and Roman narrative sculpture. His approach is mostly successful, but the inclusion of such a wide array of material gives short shrift to individual schools and eras. However, Spivey's care in selecting the issues driving the project allow the book to rise above these limitations and present a thoughtful analysis of the relationship between the evolution of art and human culture. Although its lack of depth on any given subject will make it unsatisfying for professional art historians or anthropologists, the book will appeal to general readers looking for a sprightly introduction to art history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Spivey, Nigel
Editorial: Basic Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 0465081819 ISBN 13: 9780465081813
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Murray Media
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Descripción Basic Books, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110465081819

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Nigel Spivey
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Spivey, Nigel
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