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Postures: Body Language in Art

Desmond Morris

£24.95

Overview

Examining the body language displayed in works of art is a whole new way of looking at art. The gestures portrayed can reflect the mores of a particular period in history, the customs of a certain culture or a fashion in artistic styles. Exploring these with masterful subtlety, celebrated artist and anthropologist Desmond Morris uncovers fascinating insights about changing social attitudes and conventions through history and around the world, finding surprising similarities as well as now rarely used gestures.

Morris selects a number of key gestures, such as the handshake, the pointed foot, or the glove-slap, and groups them by the message they are intended to convey, such as Greetings, Status and Threats. He discusses the previously unconsidered symbolism behind these. What is understood as a gang sign today may have borne a more enigmatic meaning for Botticelli. And what did Napoleon’s hidden hand really mean? Postures: Body Language in Art uniquely combines the author’s expertise in both art and social science, so that even the most familiar paintings are suddenly seen in a new light.

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Further Details

Specifications

Format: Hardback

Size: 24.0 x 16.5 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 300

Publication date: 3 October 2019

ISBN: 9780500022610

About the Author

Desmond Morris is one of the last surviving Surrealists. His first solo exhibition was held in 1948 and in 1950 he shared his first London show with Joan Miró. He has since completed over 2,500 Surrealist paintings, and eight books have been published about his work. He has also written several books, one of which – The Naked Ape – ranks among the top 100 bestsellers of all time, with over 12 million copies sold. His title The Lives of the Surrealists was published in 2018 by Thames & Hudson