“Who invented Art?”
This book offers an insightful and clear answer to this question in chapter 1, and in the subsequent chapters, it takes us on an art historical journey that encompasses all major manifestations of the visual arts (fine arts, theater, cinema, and video games).
This art historical journey is presented in the book step by step as we follow the transition: from ritual to theater, from theater to cinema, and from cinema to video games. The book combines a wide range of academic disciplines (e.g., aesthetics, religion, classics, philosophy, and psychology), it has a strong literary dimension, and it explores our intellectual and cultural history from prehistory to the present. It is written in an interdisciplinary manner and often guides the reader to contemporary research in the natural sciences, which has contributed immensely to our understanding of both art and fiction. Art history’s methods of analysis and interpretation of works of art were greatly improved during the twentieth century. In the 1970s and 1980s, Svetlana Alpers introduced structuralism to the interpretation of the work of art. She claimed that pictures are not intended solely for perception, but can be read as having a secondary or deeper level of meaning that is hidden in their pictorial representation.
This book expands our understanding of the various modes of pictorial representation. It also places a strong emphasis on the interaction that exists between the work of art and the spectator and proceeds to analyze and compare the different types of pleasure that both art and fiction offer us. It is addressed to anyone with a general interest in Western civilization and culture.