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Postures: Body Language in Art

Examining the body language displayed in works of art is a whole new way of looking at art. The gestures portrayed can reflect the mores of a particular period in history, the customs of a certain culture or a fashion in artistic styles.

Exploring these with masterful subtlety, celebrated artist and anthropologist Desmond Morris uncovers fascinating insights about changing social attitudes and conventions through history and around the world, finding surprising similarities as well as now rarely used gestures.

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£24.95
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Dimensions 24.1 x 3 x 16.5cm
SKU 12089752

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Service Update (updated 19 March 2020)

We want to make sure your order reaches you as safely as possible. Therefore, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all orders will be dispatched once the RA has reopened. We will be in touch once the RA has reopened and once your order has been dispatched. 

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Updated 19 May 2020

We are delivering! Enjoy free shipping on orders above £50. £5.95 P&P for orders below £50. International delivery will be calculated at Checkout. The Royal Academy is temporarily closed, Collection is not available at this time.

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Product story

Morris selects a number of key gestures, such as the handshake, the pointed foot, or the glove-slap, and groups them by the message they are intended to convey, such as Greetings, Status and Threats. He discusses the previously unconsidered symbolism behind these. What is understood as a gang sign today may have borne a more enigmatic meaning for Botticelli. And what did Napoleon s hidden hand really mean?

Postures: Body Language in Art uniquely combines the author's expertise in both art and social science, so that even the most familiar paintings are suddenly seen in a new light.

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