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«Anamorfosi» è parola che appare nel Seicento e designa una certa specie di «depravazioni ottiche» fondate sui giochi della riflessione e della prospettiva. Si tratta di immagini distorte, mostruose e indecifrabili che, se viste da un certo punto dello spazio o riflesse con accorgimenti vari, si ricompongono, si rettificano, infine svelano figure a prima vista non percepibili. La conoscenza dei procedimenti per costruirle fu a lungo trasmessa come dottrina magica e segreta, finché a partire dal Cinquecento le immagini anamorfiche hanno cominciato a diffondersi. Infine nel Seicento l’anamorfosi ha invaso i trattati di prospettiva, la pratica architettonica e le feconde speculazioni ottiche dell’epoca, diventando poi una sorta di lucido e onniavvolgente delirio nell’opera di due grandi gesuiti, Kircher e Bettini. In questo libro magistrale – il primo e l’unico, si può dire, su questo tema affascinante – Jurgis Baltrušaitis, assistito dalla sua grandiosa erudizione, non solo riesce a ricostruire l’evoluzione di dottrine e di opere che erano sfuggite o erano rimaste incomprensibili agli storici dell’arte precedenti, ma delinea un capitolo decisivo nella storia dell’immaginario europeo.Anamorfosi apparve per la prima volta nel 1955, poi in edizione ampliata nel 1969, infine – nel 1984 – con due capitoli inediti, qui per la prima volta tradotti, che tracciano la storia dell’anamorfosi nell’età moderna, fino a oggi. Così vedremo – ed è un gioco delizioso – Baltrušaitis chinarsi su testi di Cocteau, Barthes, Lacan ed esaminarli come fossero oscuri reperti, allo stesso modo in cui il suo sguardo di sovrano delle aberrazioni si posava sulle stranezze di ignoti dotti seicenteschi
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In this revised and enlarged edition of her indispensable guide to the ancient Games, Judith Swaddling traces their mythological and religious origins, and describes the events, the sacred ceremony, and the celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival. A large, detailed model based on modern research and excavation reconstructs the site of ancient Olympia, where alongside religious and civic buildings there grew an elaborate sports complex with a stadium for 40,000 spectators, indoor and outdoor training facilities, hot and cold baths, a swimming pool, and a race course. Later chapters cover the diet and medical treatment of athletes, sponsorship, patronage, propaganda, and revivals of the Games
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The Art of Ancient Greek Theater considers the vibrant imprint that ancient Greek tragedy and comedy left on the visual arts of classical Greece. Theatrical performance as we know it originated in the mid-sixth century B.C. with choral dances held in honor of Dionysos, the Greek god of wine and patron of the theater. The great tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as the comedies of Aristophanes and Menander are preserved as some of the world’s most renowned literature and have formed the basis for theater performance as it is still practiced. Beyond being popular in their day, these plays inspired an array of lively paintings and sculpture, and those works represent, in some cases, the only evidence we have of some of the plays from ancient Greece.Over ninety of these objects—pottery vases, sculpture, reliefs, and masks—from museums across Europe and the United States are featured in this book. The nine insightful essays and over 130 illustrations reveal the Greek origins of theater and their multifaceted expression in the visual arts.
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The Classical Dance and Costumes of India by Kay Ambrose steers clear of the twin evils of writing: the learned writing for the learned and the dilettante writing for others of his class. It treats the four classical schools of Indian dance Bharata Natyam, Kathakali, Kathak and Manipuri with understanding and objectivity. The reader is provided with a sketch of Indian mythology and music before he is exposed to the dance proper, which are presented in such a manner that none will experience any difficulty in learning the divine and mundane aspects of these schools of dance. The chapter on the costumes of India gives not only idea of the correct costumes of the particular schools of dance but also of the endless variety and rich colour of Indian costumes. In addition to classical dances, the reader is given a taste of Indian folk dances and dances of Ceylon. The technical sketches more than supplement the text. The reader will not only be able to understand the various dance styles but recognize them while witnessing public performances. A few, if they try hard, may be able even to demonstrate authentic dance styles. Clarity and economy of expression coupled with accuracy of illustration are the hallmarks of this book which no dance-lover should miss
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