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  • MacLehose Press

On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea

Umberto Eco

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The arts: general issues, Prose: non-fiction, Philosophy: aesthetics

Sumptuously illustrated and fascinatingly written - a vast store of wisdom about the nature of beauty itself.

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.

"Eco is one of the most influential thinkers of our time" Los Angeles Times

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.

Translated from Italian by Alastair McEwen

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Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco is Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna and one of the world's most famous, and admired, writers.

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