Face and Mask: A Double History by Hans BeltingFace and Mask: A Double History by Hans Belting

Face and Mask: A Double History

byHans BeltingTranslated byThomas S. Hansen, Abby J. Hansen

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

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A cultural history of the face in Western art, ranging from portraiture in painting and photography to film, theater, and mass media

This fascinating book presents the first cultural history and anthropology of the face across centuries, continents, and media. Ranging from funerary masks and masks in drama to the figural work of contemporary artists including Cindy Sherman and Nam June Paik, renowned art historian Hans Belting emphasizes that while the face plays a critical role in human communication, it defies attempts at visual representation.

Belting divides his book into three parts: faces as masks of the self, portraiture as a constantly evolving mask in Western culture, and the fate of the face in the age of mass media. Referencing a vast array of sources, Belting's insights draw on art history, philosophy, theories of visual culture, and cognitive science. He demonstrates that Western efforts to portray the face have repeatedly failed, even with the developments of new media such as photography and film, which promise ever-greater degrees of verisimilitude. In spite of sitting at the heart of human expression, the face resists possession, and creative endeavors to capture it inevitably result in masks-hollow signifiers of the humanity they're meant to embody.

From creations by Van Eyck and August Sander to works by Francis Bacon, Ingmar Bergman, and Chuck Close, Face and Mask takes a remarkable look at how, through the centuries, the physical visage has inspired and evaded artistic interpretation.

Hans Belting has held chairs in art history at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich and has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia, and Northwestern. He also cofounded and taught at the School for New Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. His many books include An Anthropology of Images (Princeton), Florence and Baghdad: Renaissan...
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Title:Face and Mask: A Double HistoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 0.98 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691162352

ISBN - 13:9780691162355

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Defining the Subject 1

I Face and Mask: Changing Views

1 Facial Expression, Masks of the Self, and Roles of the Face 17

2 The Cult Origin of the Mask 32

3 Masks in Colonial Museums 42

4 Face and Mask in the Theater 48

5 From the Study of the Face to Brain Research 63

6 Nostalgia for the Face and the Death Mask in Modernity 77

7 Eulogy for the Face: Rilke and Artaud 84

II Portrait and Mask: The Face as Representation

8 The European Portrait as Mask 91

9 Face and Skull: Two Opposing Views 106

10 The "Real Face" of the Icon and the "Similar Face" 118

11 The Record of Memory and the Speech Act of the Face 126

12 Rembrandt's Self-Portraiture: Revolt against the Mask 135

13 Silent Screams in the Glass Case: The Face Set Free 150

14 Photography and Mask: Jorge Molder's Own Alien Face 157

III Media and Masks: The Production of Faces

15 The Consumption of Media Faces 175

16 Archives: Controlling the Faces of the Crowd 192

17 Video and Live Image: The Flight from the Mask 205

18 Ingmar Bergman and the Face in Film 211

19 Overpainting and Replicating the Face: Signs of Crisis 221

20 Mao's Face: State Icon and Pop Idol 229

21 Cyberfaces: Masks without Faces 239

Acknowledgments 247

Notes 249

Literature Cited 263

Index of Names 267

Editorial Reviews

"[This book] is very rich in detail and allusion and its insights are often suggested rather than stated. It raises challenging questions about identity, how we create it, perceive it and represent it. Above all, it brings into sharp focus what we often take for granted: the extraordinary expressivity of the human face and the way its expressions assume a social form."--Alan Dent, Penniless Press