Man as Hero: The Human Figure in Western Art
by Pierce Rice
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., April 2000
MY HERO recommends this book to readers of all age groups.
From the Publisher
Is there a pervasive single theme in the long span of Western visual art? Indeed, the artist Pierce Rice says, it is the systematic study of the human being. Further, the great examples of Man as Hero were meant as public art, in large frescoes or large statuary, and not as easel painting or portable small sculpture. It is not surprising that Rice sees Michelangelo as the supreme example in Western art of the artist glorifying mankind. Yet, as Rice takes his argument through several categories, such as the cherub, the celebration of victory, or the Virgin as Mother, there are some unexpected creators in the pantheon of artists relevant to his thesis. He deals not only with Veronese, Fragonard, and Winslow Homer, but also with J. C. Leyendecker, who did the famous "New Year" covers for the Saturday Evening Post, and John Tenniel, who was best known as the illustrator of Alice in Wonderland.