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book cover of On Beauty

On Beauty

A History of a Western Idea
A non fiction book by

Beauty is neither a history of art, nor a history of aesthetics but Umberto Eco draws on the histories of both these disciplines to define the ideas of beauty that have informed sensibilities from the classical world to modern times. In terms of form and style, Beauty has been conceived for a vast and diversified readership: taking in painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, the decorative arts, novels and poems, it offers a rich and intelligent panorama of this huge subject. It traces the philosophy of aesthetics through history and examines some of the many treatises that have sought to define it. Beauty is Umberto Eco at his most captivating and eclectic: we read not only of Botticelli and Michelangelo but of how the fashion of the 1960s owes much 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 new light on the unfamiliar. Illustrated in full colour throughout and produced to the highest standards, Beauty is an indispensable book.


Used availability for Umberto Eco's On Beauty

Hardback Editions

October 2004 : UK Hardback

Title: On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea
Author(s): Umberto Eco, Alastair McEwen
ISBN: 0-436-20517-3 / 978-0-436-20517-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Secker
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

September 2010 : UK Paperback

Title: On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea
Author(s): Umberto Eco
ISBN: 0-85705-020-6 / 978-0-85705-020-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA