A fascinating insight into changing beauty ideals throughout Western art history
When Were You Beautiful? invites you on a journey through the history of art with a view to challenging our current, narrow ideals of beauty. Showcasing 50 works of art spanning over two thousand years, the book will explore our ever evolving notions of what it means to be beautiful, whilst introducing the reader to significant artists, movements and aesthetic expressions across Western art history.
The book provides a key to quickly identifying artistic representations of those features, similar to our own, that we today have come to consider less attractive; from the unibrow, to grey hair, to protruding ears. Thus this book equips its reader with a new source of self-confidence and a tool for some entertaining comparisons: even if my features don’t measure up to current ideals of beauty, I can at least point to the fact that I share those features with portrait-worthy historical personalities.
These many and carefully curated images present both outer and inner beauty, and will be accompanied by research-based yet accessible introductions to the artists, the portrayed and their times. Covering most of Western art history the book is also an unfolding story of the many shifts, innovations and movements through the centuries.