The Art Book That Changed The Way I See

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Author’s copy of ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger. Photo by author.

The female nude and possession

Berger pays particular attention to the female nude in art and role of the male gaze in structuring the relations between men and women. He writes:

Art and Advertising

From paintings of nude women to portraits of land owning aristocracy, works of art have the ability to represent relations of ownership:

Reproductions verses original works

Berger explores the manner in which artworks are reproduced on television and through print, and through these mediums, the ways in which details can be isolated and used to form new ideas about the meaning of the image. He argues that the manner in which we look at a work of art to a large extent shapes our interaction with it:

Inside view of ‘Ways of Seeing’. Photo by author.

Museums: the palaces of art

Berger uses the term “nostalgic” to capture the sense in which original works of art function in a world of reproductions.

A great book (and television series)

Ultimately, John Berger’s approach to art amounts to a choice, as he puts it:

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Art historian, critic, novelist, artist. Author of How To Read Paintings: https://www.chrisjoneswrites.co.uk/how-to-read-paintings/

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