The Face: Our Human Story

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The face: our human story explores the human face as represented through the art and objects found in the collection of the British Museum.

The face is not only central to identity, but is also the primary vehicle for human expression, emotion and character. It signifies intellect and power, kindness and compassion, and has often been regarded as the window into the soul. Above all, it is the focus of our attention when we encounter another person. So how have different cultures used art to depict faces, whether lifelike or idealised, whether masked or uncovered, whether newborn, in the prime of life, ageing or even deceased? Why has the representation of the human face become so central to artistic expression in all world cultures, and why have images of visages incited rage or fear enough to be defaced or destroyed?

Author Debra N. Mancoff explores these questions through a range of artefacts from the British Museum’s collection, and discovers the full range of human emotions that can be depicted by even the most subtle change in an expression or facial feature. Arranged thematically, the book’s chapters introduce various visually-led pairings and groupings of artefacts that encourage the reader to make connections between the objects, whilst noting the variety of cultural origins and time periods of creation. Some of the juxtapositions raise a smile; others are surprisingly affecting.

The face: our human story will both fascinate and delight the reader, offering insights into experiences that we all share as human beings, and how these experiences are revealed through our faces.

  • Product Code: CMC9780500518625
  • Product Weight: 0.9Kg
  • Author: Debra N. Mancoff
  • Pages: 304
  • Format: Hardback
  • Dimensions: H19.5 x L18cm
  • Illustrations: 363
  • Postage Weight: 0.90 Kg

The face: our human story explores the human face as represented through the art and objects found in the collection of the British Museum.

The face is not only central to identity, but is also the primary vehicle for human expression, emotion and character. It signifies intellect and power, kindness and compassion, and has often been regarded as the window into the soul. Above all, it is the focus of our attention when we encounter another person. So how have different cultures used art to depict faces, whether lifelike or idealised, whether masked or uncovered, whether newborn, in the prime of life, ageing or even deceased? Why has the representation of the human face become so central to artistic expression in all world cultures, and why have images of visages incited rage or fear enough to be defaced or destroyed?

Author Debra N. Mancoff explores these questions through a range of artefacts from the British Museum’s collection, and discovers the full range of human emotions that can be depicted by even the most subtle change in an expression or facial feature. Arranged thematically, the book’s chapters introduce various visually-led pairings and groupings of artefacts that encourage the reader to make connections between the objects, whilst noting the variety of cultural origins and time periods of creation. Some of the juxtapositions raise a smile; others are surprisingly affecting.

The face: our human story will both fascinate and delight the reader, offering insights into experiences that we all share as human beings, and how these experiences are revealed through our faces.

  • Product Code: CMC9780500518625
  • Product Weight: 0.9Kg
  • Author: Debra N. Mancoff
  • Pages: 304
  • Format: Hardback
  • Dimensions: H19.5 x L18cm
  • Illustrations: 363
  • Postage Weight: 0.90 Kg

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