Ritual and Seduction
The Human Body as Art
212 illustrations, including 158 pages in full color
The human body is a living mirror held out to the world. Nude, masked, painted, or adorned, it has the power to attract, charm, captivate, frighten, or seduce.
Each civilization and culture has found its own unique ways of decorating, and thus celebrating, the human form.
In his introduction to this endlessly fascinating volume, Andre Virel traces the historical, sociological, mythological, and psychological significance of adornment, with particular emphasis on the mask as a means of camoflage or transformation.
He covers the four major themes :
# and Ritual
Using examples from four continents, with special attention to Africa and New Guinea, Virel shows us
# the seductive powers of tattooing and body painting,
# the aggressive potential of masks
# the hierarchical nature of costume, which is associated with class consciouness
# and the elemental origins of scarification
His wide-ranging text includes a discussion of
# African tribal rituals,
# the Egyptian sphinx
# the masks of Carnival and Mardi Gras
# and the famous story of the Man in the Iron Mask.
CONDITION: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket, used with moderate wear to DJ, book in vg condition, 1979, 192 pages