How Art Made the World by Nigel Spivey
A Journey to the Origins of Human Creativity

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Synopsis

In the late nineteenth century, the first discoveries of prehistoric painting were greeted with incredulity. How could there have been such deft and skillful artists in the world over 30,000 years ago? Noted art historian Nigel Spivey begins with this puzzle to explore the record of humanity's artistic endeavors, and their impact on our own development. How Art Made the World, in conjunction with the PBS miniseries, reveals how artists from the earliest caveman to the most studied Renaissance master have grappled with the same questions in their work: What is a man? Why must we die? Is there a God? With the help of vivid color illustrations of some of the world's most moving and enduring works of art, Spivey shows how that art has been used as a means of mass persuasion, essential to the creation of hierarchical societies, and finally, the extent to which art has served as a mode of terror management in the face of our inevitable death. Packed with new insights into ancient wonders and fascinating stories from all around the globe, How Art Made the World is a compelling account of how humans made art and how art makes us human.
 

About Nigel Spivey

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Nigel Spivey is a lecturer in Classics at Cambridge University. He has written several books on Greek and Etruscan art. He is the presenter of the BBC/PBS television series ÒHow Art Made the World,Ó which this book accompanies. He lives in Cambridge, England.
 
Published November 28, 2005 by Basic Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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This hunky Cambridge professor scales mountains, hurtles into caves, treks across deserts and submits to shock treatment for the eyes in the first few episodes of "How Art Made the World," a pleasantly entertaining five-part documentary series about the origins of art and its influence on society.

Jun 26 2006 | Read Full Review of How Art Made the World: A Jou...

The Guardian

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How Art Made the World Nigel Spivey BBC Books £20, pp288 Faust - an academic nerd who suffered from the itchy syndrome identified by Nigel Spivey as 'cloisterphobia' - begged the Devil to rescue him from obscurity and to satisfy his grosser cravings.

May 22 2005 | Read Full Review of How Art Made the World: A Jou...

Publishers Weekly

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With its new introductory art history series, Art & Ideas, Phaidon tries to find a foothold in a market already crowded by such series as Thames & Hudson's World of Art, Yale's Pelican History of Art and more recently Oxford's History of Art.

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Publishers Weekly

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Although its lack of depth on any given subject will make it unsatisfying for professional art historians or anthropologists, the book will appeal to general readers looking for a sprightly introduction to art history.

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