Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art - the exhibition catalogue from British Museum available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art

Sale price £28.95 Regular price £30.00

'Some of the greatest classical sculptures in the world have been brought together in the British Museum’s epic and captivating survey of Greek sculpture'  - The Guardian

Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art at the British Museum installation view

Drawing on the British Museum's outstanding collection of Greek sculpture including extraordinary pieces from the Parthenon and the celebrated representation of a discus thrower, this richly illustrated book explores the Greek portrayal of human character in sculpture.

This beautifully produced volume, which accompanied a major 2015 British Museum exhibition, shows how, from the fifth century BC on, Greek sculptors revolutionised the representation of the human form by depicting it in a naturalistic but idealised state.

A series of lively introductory chapters reveal how the sculptures were viewed by the Greeks themselves and how they were treated in later pagan antiquity. One of the most interesting sections of the book presents some of the latest thinking about the use of colour in classical sculpture and includes illustrations of the clutch of brightly-painted casts displayed in the exhibition. 

The book includes many Ancient Greek works not included in the exhibition, such as the extraordinary Barberini Fawn, while images of works in the exhibition are presented with additional close-up photos to enhance detail. The text provides excellent contextual support and is both accessible yet informative.

  • Authors: Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator, British Museum
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Date published: March 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0714122878
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 25.3 x 2.7 cm