Life & CultureIdols – The Power of Images, Records Mankind’s Early Representations of the Human Body in Lavish Book

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Publisher Skira is releasing Idols – The Power of Images, a lavishly illustrated book on how humankind begun to create three-dimensional images of the human body around 4000–2000 BC.

Geometric female figure, Sardinia, Bronze Age, Marble, height 43 cm, Polo Museale della Sardegna

The book reveals a surprising number of common traits present in many groups and regions across the world. Editor Annie Caubet, archaeologist and emerita of the Louvre, invites the reader to discover a diverse collection of illustrations and texts from multiple experts in the field. She covers a vast expanse of areas, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Indus valley, from the gates of the Atlantic to the confines of the Far East.

Figure plate with two necks, Cyprus, unknown archaeological context, Middle Bronze Age, Clay, h. 28.5 cm, Museum of Cyprus, Nicosia

Idols – The Power of Images is also a tribute to Giancarlo Ligabue (1935 -2001), the Italian paleontologist, scholar, businessman and public figure who developed a deep interest in the dawn of anthropomorphic figurative culture, the founding myths of humanity and the representation of power, whether inseminated by gods or heroes.

“Scarred” with white kilt, Eastern Iran, Central Asia Oxus Civilization (2200-1800 B.C. approx.), Chlorite, limestone, height 11.5 cm, Private collection, London

A unique voyage through history and the globe, leading up to the very origins of figurations of the human body, from the Neolithic era to the Bronze Age, this is an extraordinary collection of works holding both beauty and charm.

Female figure standing with arms folded, Egypt, Predynastic period Naqada III (3300-3000 B.C.), Lapis lazuli and wood, h. 8,9 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

With diverse illustrations and texts from multiple experts in the field, Idols (from the Greek eidolon, or image) invites the reader to discover how artists who lived and worked around 4000–2000 BC created three-dimensional images of the human body. It offers a unique insight into works from both the East and West whilst dealing with the subject of human figuration.

Idols – The Power of Images, Cover © Skira Editore 2019

From the first ambiguous images of the Neolithic era, which still to this day have no definitive interpretation, to their evolution into the Bronze Age, Idols embarks on an aesthetic expedition – a journey which highlights surprising common traits, present in many groups and regions, despite their variants and distances. The scope of the book covers a vast geographic area that extends from the Iberian peninsula to the Indus valley, from the gates of the Atlantic to the confines of the Far East.

The 9.5×11 in. hardcover book features 288 pages of English text (an edition in Italian is also available) with 282 colour illustrations. It’s available now, costing £50.

Images © Fondazione Giancarlo Ligabue, Photos by: Hughes Dubois

www.skira.net

See also:

Bank of America Art Conservation Project: Restoring Assyrian Reliefs

New York Gallery to Stage Japanese Sculpture Exhibition

Giant bronze sculpture brings controversial message to the Theatre Royal Plymouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

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