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Bathers, Bodies, Beauty: The Visceral Eye
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674021169, Hardcover)
To the eye of some viewers, Renoir's Great Bathers are the very picture of female sensuality and beauty. To others, they embody a whole tradition of masculine mastery and feminine display. Yet others find in the bathers a feminine fantasy of bodily liberation. The points of view are many, various, occasionally startling--and through them, Linda Nochlin explores the contradictions and dissonances that mark experience as well as art. Her book--about art, the body, beauty, and ways of viewing--confronts the issues posed in representations particularly of the female body in the art of impressionists, modern masters, and contemporary realists and post-modernists.
Nochlin begins by focusing on the painterly preoccupation with bathing, whether at the beach, in lakes and rivers, in public swimming pools, or in bathtubs. In discussions of Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Bonnard, and Picasso, of late-twentieth-century and contemporary artists such as Philip Pearlstein, Alice Neel, and Jenny Saville, of grotesque imagery, the concept of beauty, and the body in realism, she develops an interpretive collage incorporating the readings of differing, strong-willed, female viewpoints. Among these is, of course, Nochlin's own, a vantage point subtly charted here through a longtime engagement with art, art history, and artists.
In many ways a personal book, Bathers, Bodies, Beauty brings to bear a lifetime of looking at, teaching, talking about, wrestling with, loving, and hating art to reveal and complicate the lived and felt--the visceral--experience of art.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:04 -0400)
"What meets the eye in Renoir's paintings of nude bathers? To some viewers, they are the very picture of female sensuality and beauty. To others, they embody a whole tradition of masculine mastery and feminine display. Yet others find in these naked women a fantasy of bodily liberation. The points of view are many, various, and occasionally startling. Linda Nochlin's aim in looking at works of art is not to construct a unitary response but to pull things apart, to leave the reader unsettled, confronting the contradictions - about the body, beauty, and ways of viewing - in the work of impressionists, modern masters, contemporary realists, and postmodernists."--BOOK JACKET.
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