THE IMAGE OF THE BLACK IN WESTERN ART
Cover: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume I: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire: New Edition, from Harvard University PressCover: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume I: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire in HARDCOVER

The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume I: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire

New Edition

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Book Details

HARDCOVER

$95.00 • £69.95 • €75.00

ISBN 9780674052710

Publication: November 2010

Short

416 pages

345 color illustrations, 50 halftones, 5 maps

Belknap Press

The Image of the Black in Western Art

World

Monumental and groundbreaking volumes…[with] beautifully reproduced and thought-provoking images… A vast array of different ‘Images of the Black’ appear in these volumes, from statues of black saints such as St. Maurice or St. Benedict the Moor, to portraits of notable African ambassadors and kings, poets and musicians, or drawings of literary characters such as Shakespeare’s Othello, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or Yarico from George Colman’s Inkle and Yarico… Africans have been painted and sculpted by some of the most eminent artists in the Western tradition, including Titian, Tiepolo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Hogarth, Watteau and Gainsborough. More importantly, they have not been caricatured, but sensitively portrayed by these masters, their humanity captured on canvas for all to see… In placing such a vast variety of different images together, both positive and negative, these volumes show that the ‘Image of the Black’ was not at all homogenous but rather reflected the wide range of the Western response to the ‘other.’ …Seen through the prism of ‘Western Art,’ these ‘Images of the Black’ often tell us more about the Europeans and their agendas than the Africans they portray. Nonetheless, the cumulative effect of the images is to demonstrate a continuous black presence in the Western imagination and experience… This series will pose new questions to scholars of art, history and literature and provoke us all to reconsider the role of ‘the Black’ in Western civilization.—Miranda Kaufmann, The Times Literary Supplement

I also would recommend The Image of the Black in Western Art, which is both expensive and priceless. It’s fascinating to see how black people were viewed before we decided that African ancestry made you, by God or science, property.—Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic online

The Image of the Black in Western Art [is] a truly epic project… The series, scheduled for completion in 2014, is, so far, as eye-opening to view as it is to read and, one volume at a time, could be the answer to gift gifting for several years to come.—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

A sumptuous new edition with much additional material and copious color pictures… The books are a wonderful resource: a glitteringly decorated window into the Du Bois Institute’s unrivalled archive of relevant images. The accompanying essays, which are models of erudition, are inescapable reading for anyone interested in the subject.—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, The Art Newspaper

Harvard is known to be reluctant to publish art books but if this is anything to go by, it should do so more often.—Jaynie Anderson, Australian Literary Review

The volumes so far are a treasury of paintings and sculptures of people down the ages, taking in many strands of ritual, classicism, artlessness and humanity.—William Feaver, Spectator

In his fresh introduction for volume 1, Jeremy Tanner, Greek and Roman art/archaeology specialist, recontextualizes the text and images in the original volume of this work in light of the explosion of scholarship examining the notions of race and identity as constructed historically and in the present. Tanner’s well-researched, critical essay offers a rich bibliography of the literature on the subject of race and representation in ancient art… The high-quality color images that have replaced black-and-white images, and the more richly textured black-and-white images, all printed on good quality art stock paper, help to reinforce arguments where color symbolism is deemed critically important.—K. Mason, Choice

One of the most thorough collections depicting the African-American in works of art… The books build on the research and photo project started by art patron Dominique de Menil in the 1960s, which grew out of a frustration with segregation. The collection was then transferred and continued to grow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. De Menil’s original volumes have been updated by David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and now include more detailed descriptions and provide a larger context of the artwork that spans more than 5,000 years, including the Roman Empire to present-day pieces, filling in tremendous gaps in de Menil’s collection, according to some art historians. The images, printed in full-color on high-quality pages, are available for the masses to see and understand how African-Americans not only fit into the various societies of the Western world, but how those relationships evolved throughout the ages.Kirkus Reviews

A fascinating story of the changing image of Africa’s people in Western art. The images are simply extraordinary and the scholarship inspiring. Anyone who cares about Western art or about Africa and her diaspora ought to know these magnificent volumes.—Kwame Anthony Appiah

In addition to being an indispensable guide to the evolving meanings of racial difference, these dazzling volumes filled with extraordinary images and rich arguments contribute to an alternative history of the Western world. An invaluable gift for both specialists and general readers.—Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness

Praise for the previous edition:

One concludes from these pioneering volumes that artistic representations were historical ‘events’ that eventually helped to shape a mentality that justified the enslavement of millions of Africans as well as later attempts to Christianize and liberate their descendants.—David Brion Davis, The New York Review of Books