History of Beauty

History of Beauty

Now in paperback, Umberto Eco?s groundbreaking and much-acclaimed first illustrated book has been a critical success since its first publication in 2004. What is beauty? Umberto Eco, among Italy?s finest and most important contemporary thinkers, explores the nature, the meaning, and the very history of the idea of beauty in Western culture. The profound and subtle text is Now in paperback, Umberto Eco?s groundbreaking and much-acclaimed first illustrated book has been a critical success...

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Title:History of Beauty
Author:Umberto Eco
Rating:
Genres:Art
ISBN:Storia della Bellezza
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:432 pages pages

History of Beauty Reviews

  • Caroline
    Sep 14, 2010
    I got this for Christmas ages ago and I think it's wedged into a back bookcase. Harper's reposted their review of it though and I might go back: The sensible George Santayana observed that beauty begins with sensation: what we immediately, and especially what children like immediate...
  • Coyle
    Mar 09, 2012
    Really a 3 1/2 star book, but since that's not an option... This book is misnamed, really "dictionary of Beauty" would be a closer title, while "Umberto Eco's Musings on Beauty in a loosely chronological order with occasionaly quotes about beauty from other thinkers and a boatload o...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Oct 01, 2012
    Storia della bellezza = History of beauty, 2nd ed, 2005, Umberto Eco Storia della bellezza (2004, co-edited with Girolamo de Michele ? English translation: History of Beauty/On Beauty, 2004). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it also has a lot to do with the beholder's cultu...
  • Psychophant
    Mar 14, 2008
    The book originally was presented as a CD-Rom. Although I like books, I think the idea of the writer would be better experienced in an interactive webpage or digital media. Because a page limits you to what is in it or its neighbours, or a shorter or longer search for a glimpsed idea. ...
  • AyaSuu
    May 10, 2011
    This book takes a lot of stamina to go through. The concept is quite easy: each chapter contains a short description of the period in question and its understanding of beauty, accompanied by important artworks and literature of the time. These chapters are often just 3-5 pages. Neverth...
  • Pollopicu
    Jul 11, 2009
    I got through this book by pure endurance I built by jogging 2-3 miles a day, 4 times a week. Otherwise I wouldn't have made it through. Good thing I have mental stamina. It's gotten me through a lot of difficult times in my life. I loved Umberto's book "On Ugliness". I gave that f...
  • Stela
    Oct 18, 2012
    Even if I agree with most of the reproaches this book received (that it is more a guide than a study, that it is more a triumph of compression than of clarity, that it is too eclectic and so on) I have to say I really enjoyed it. Is this a consequence of my great admiration for Umbe...
  • Moßtafa
    Jul 12, 2019
    Well, the head subject is really interesting to catch up the human eye. I read the name of the rose one of Eco's best novels and all fiction history but to see his works in non-fiction,it's an interesting too. The book about seeing the beauty in everything including the ugliest one...
  • J.J.
    Mar 25, 2012
    This was a bit of a tough read in that it could be slightly boring at times and also lacked a coherent organization or scheme. True, Eco's main point is that there is not necessarily a theme to beauty, but this nonetheless made it a tougher read. The included philosophic tidbits we...
  • Rachel
    Sep 12, 2010
    Dense. I had to simply assign myself to get through the book. Though I read the book and made an honest attempt to absorb a goodly amount of the information, I suspect that I missed entire theses in my reading. One reason is that the writing in supported with both images and text...
  • Kalliope
    Jul 22, 2013
    Reading Eco?s study On Beauty feels like visiting a Temple with very many chambers. In each room there are texts. There are also images, many of them too and of good quality and they are all photos of art pieces. During this visit we are accompanied by the talk of a commentator...
  • Gabriella
    Jun 21, 2012
    It's not really a book you read cover to cover, and I guess some of the disappointment many people may feel comes from them picking it up and reading it like that. It is a dictionary a reference, it should open people's mind up to further investigate and research. As someone said the b...
  • Matt
    Aug 16, 2012
    Well-researched, readable, with lots of pretty pictures if you're into that kind of thing. A couple of qualifications: 1. He is obviously most concerned with literary and fine arts, mostly ignoring decorative arts, architecture, performing arts, etc. 2. He leans heavily on literar...
  • Marie
    Feb 20, 2016
    My first glimpse of this title came at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2010. The edition exhibited was in the original Italian and significantly more handsome than the translated library copy I have been perusing this past week. I was reminded of my desire to read it by the recent report ...
  • Mirande
    Jan 16, 2012
    Although from time to time the writing is a little muddled or the thinking confused, on the whole the short overview sections give a coherent explanation of Eco's understanding of how our thinking about beauty has developed. The overviews are embedded within copious images of paintings...
  • Shelli
    Apr 07, 2013
    As someone who prides myself on being able to keep up with Umberto Eco's fiction (with the assistance of several classical language dictionaries, of course) and even some of his non-fiction, "History of Beauty" was so intensely academic as to not be enjoyable for me as light summer rea...
  • Barry Marks
    Feb 08, 2013
    To begin, I have to confess that I am a huge Umberto Eco fan. I have enjoyed reading both fiction and non-fiction books penned by him. My only regret is that I have to read English translations as I am not going to learn Italian at this stage of my life. This book to me is a post- m...
  • Jose
    Jan 07, 2013
    Absolutely disappointing. It's just another collection of selected paragraphs and quotes from historical and philosophical essays concerning Beauty and other aesthetical categories like the Picturesque or the Sublime, with some extra explanations. I expected it to be a new essay by Mr....
  • Jarryn
    May 13, 2013
    This book clearly shows its origin as an electronic resource casually dealing with aesthetics. Not only is it not a "study", but it can feel rather fragmented and incoherent throughout. Eco and De Michele seem to intend this book to serve as "a history" of beauty rather than "the histo...
  • Bjorn
    Apr 23, 2013
    It's an interesting topic: what is beauty? It might seem like a trivial question, but think about it: esthetics run through everything we do. Everything we read, watch, listen to, right down to the houses we live in, the cars we drive, the cans we buy food in are made to correspond to ...
  • Lingkai
    Aug 31, 2013
    Basically a tour of the art movements over time. Avoiding the big word "Art" next to history, this book is not really about the history of art. It is concerned with beauty. You'd know better, "What is beauty?" is basically an absurd question to ask. I still found it a good read any...
  • Steven Godin
    Feb 19, 2018
    Fascinating, much better than his fiction. ...
  • Eugenio Fouz
    May 21, 2015
    I loved the book: the ideas on beauty, proportion, classicism and the images were nice and deserve a bookshelf on their own. I had to read the book in 2 steps, namely reading the main stream of the notion of beauty or the sublime and on the other hand the revision of images and comme...
  • José Luís  Fernandes
    Jan 21, 2015
    History of Beauty is a nice exposition of the History of the concept of beauty. The scholarship by Eco is very good and the book has a lot of illustrations and primary sources to back his claims (although for the 20th century there is a lack of texts). I must just warn that the st...
  • Luís C.
    Aug 20, 2014
    It is a book that is not based on artistic criteria of beauty, but the beauty marked by time, by the concepts, for what it was and was considered beautiful in every season. I think the author exceeds too much the beautiful setting, in keeping with the beauty. He didn't convinced ...
  • Beata
    Feb 03, 2018
    Excellence in its own right ... ...
  • Julia Herdman
    Jul 17, 2016
    Another book in my post university education. On Beauty is an encyclopaedia of images and ideas about beauty ranging from ancient Greece to the present day. It begins with 20 pages of reproductions of paintings and photographs, representing an enormous range of cultural icons, from Bro...
  • Ivan Antonov
    Jul 08, 2018
    The best book of a season ...
  • Ilgar DIANATI
    Apr 26, 2019
    Umberto Eco is one of my long term interests. I've learned and enjoyed a lot reading this valuable art reference. ...
  • Besaro
    Aug 16, 2019
    The book was really great,. ...