How Do We Look by Mary Beard

How Do We Look

Conceived as a gorgeously illustrated accompaniment to “How Do We Look” and “The Eye of Faith,” the famed Civilisations shows on PBS, renowned classicist Mary Beard has created this elegant volume on how we have looked at art. Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art o...

Details How Do We Look

TitleHow Do We Look
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Art, Archaeology, Culture, Pop Culture

Reviews How Do We Look

  • Margaret Sankey
    A beautiful and witty art survey, about one of my favorite subjects--people and how they represent themselves. What does it mean politically and socially to be painted "warts and all," or as a hundred foot tall, bare-chested incarnation of Ra? Beard carefully chooses pieces from around the world, setting them in context and revealing how they illustrate the culture's sense of self, power, gender and imagination.
  • Lily Green
    Very informative and easy to read prose! This would be a fantastic addition to a 100 level art history class.
  • Katie
    I really like Mary Beard and her perspective on human civilization through her expertise in antiquity. This book focuses on the question of who are we when we are looking at art, not only how do we see art, but how does art reflect our gaze. Using numerous examples of ancient figurative art from the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Olmec, and Chinese she tries to find the role of the viewer. Next she turns to the religious structures from multiple majo...
  • Joseph
    This book is, to the best of my knowledge, a companion to the new rendition of "Civilizations" that aired on PBS a few months ago. If you have not watched the new series, I highly recommend it. Among others, this book primarily explores how we look at figures from a western bias, as well as how faith has influenced how we interpret and understand images. As a teacher of art history, I found the series "Civilizations" extremely useful and engaging...
  • Patrycja
    I guess I was expecting a different read or maybe different format of this book.This is basically research based on sculptures and art through centuries to show how human interpreted and had looked at art. Different cultures and different traditions would show a person in a different way. And depending on who was looking at the statues, they would see something different in the art.The sculptures and art varied and were changing through centuries...
  • Luis Cuesta
    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. To star I wold say that Mary Beards book is a joy to read, too short for certain and packed with lessons quickly absorbed.Thebook is filled with historical details and Beard’s ideas about the images of gods are fascinating, especially with regard to the Ajanta Cave drawings in India, which force viewers to actively interpret their complexity, searching for truth and faith in the darkness. Even more ...
  • Amanda
    I greatly appreciate Mary Beard's writing, and this book is no exception. A light, enjoyable read containing art, history, and the context the art would have been seen in/what it would have meant to contemporary viewers. Fascinating food for thought!I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss+.
  • Crystal
    While it was a good book and I did enjoy what was written and the art work covered. I was left with a feeling that something was missing. Since it is meant to accompany the "Civilizations" shows, maybe that was what was missing. Overall good, but somehow lacking.
  • Linda
    A good basic read on how we look at art. Reflects the importance of historical context, religion, and even historical perceptions on the role human form in deciphering and understanding art, especially of ancient civilizations. Great for those looking for an intro to looking at ancient art.
  • Leena Dbouk
    I love Mary Beard and I love her writing! However, some of this book felt unfocused. I'd still recommend it though!!!
  • Lindsay
    Always something interesting in Mary Beard's books
  • Amy
    Some nice insights and I found the section on religious imagery very interesting, but I wish there was more to the book.
  • Colby
    It seemed to focus - negatively - on Kenneth Clark ! A bit frothy.
  • Dan Vine
    This was very disappointing. Each time, she seemed on the verge of saying something interesting, you turned the page to find the chapter ending on some unsatisfying generality. Often there was an odd lack of historical context. One might want to excuse it on the grounds of the limitations of TV as a medium but then you set it alongside Clark's Civilization and the efforts of Andrew Graham-Dixon, Waldemar Januszczak and Beard herself when on her h...