Body of ArtPhaidon Editors

Price AUD$75.00 | Phaidon 100 Price CAD$69.95 | Phaidon 100 Price £39.95 | Phaidon 100 Price €49.95 | Phaidon 100 Price USD$59.95 | Phaidon 100 Price T59.95 | Phaidon 100

The first book to celebrate the beautiful and provocative ways artists have represented, scrutinized and utilized the body over centuries.

Body of Art is the first book to explore the various ways the human body has been both an inspiration and a medium for artists over hundreds of thousands of years. Unprecedented in its scope, it examines the many different manifestations of the body in art, from Anthony Gormley and Maya Lin sculptures to eight-armed Hindu gods and ancient Greek reliefs, from feminist graphics and Warhol's empty electric chair to the blue-tinted complexion of Singer Sargent's Madame X. It is the most expansive examination of the human body in art, spanning western and non-western, ancient to contemporary, representative to abstract and conceptual.

Over 400 artists are featured in chapters that explore identity, beauty, religion, absent body, sex and gender, power, body's limits, abject body and bodies & space. Works range from 11,000 BC hand stencils in Argentine caves to videos and performances by contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joan Jonas and Bruce Nauman... Its fresh, accessible and dynamic voice brings to life the thrilling diversity of both classical and contemporary art through the prism of the body. More than simply a book of representations, this is an original and thought provoking look at the human body across time, cultures and media.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 305 × 238 mm (12 × 9 3/8 in)
  • Pages: 440 pp
  • Illustrations: 440 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714869667

Body of Art is conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors. Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.

Named one of the Top Ten Holiday Art Books of 2015 by Artnet

'Body of Art juxtaposes Sandro Botticelli's Venus with Vanessa Beecroft's army of naked women, the iconic head of Nefertiti, and the work of Ryan Trecartin, among many other artists, to stunning effect. Highly recommended.' – Artnet

'A few months ago, Body of Art arrived in the post. I plonked it down on a coffee table pile. I've lost count of the number of times I've picked it up since. One moment I am talking to a visitor, the next they have vanished into a gawping reverie as they flip, fascinated, through its pages.' – The Independent

'A sumptuous and continually surprising survey... The editors have grouped their pictures in thought-provoking ways... Short interpretive texts make the correspondences more resonant." – RA Magazine

'A browser's delight, its chief virtue is juxtaposition... Body of Art is one of those compendious volumes so useful for looking things up.' – The Spectator

'The editors of Body of Art...had a daunting amount of material from which to choose for their survey of the human body across centuries and cultures. They have done so with real imagination, deftly mixing the old...with the new...and juxtaposing them in themes... The effects – and the similarities and differences – are continually surprising.' – The Sunday Times

'An extensive survey of unique and diverse representations of the human body... guaranteed to impress art and anatomy lovers alike.' – Interview Magazine

'Comprehensive and compelling. An impressive range of work' – Aesthetica

'A thorough-going exploration of how the body has been represented.' – The Independent

'Body of Art positions itself as the most extensive survey of the representation of the body in art ever to be published – a bold claim, but one it deftly pulls off.' – Daily Telegraph

'Works are often presented in unlikely but enlightening pairings ... With modest design and concise commentary; this is an intelligent, illuminating survey of a topic that has an enduring appeal." – Daily Telegraph

'Ambitious in scope.' – Publishers Weekly

'Body of Art is a fascinating study of the myriad ways in which artists have represented the human body, making often surprising and always illuminating connections between centuries, imaginations and media.' – Jennifer Higgie, Writer and co-editor of frieze

'Without reflection, it is difficult to understand the integrity of our corporeality, and the way that our mind is intimately interconnected, body and soul.' – Jennifer Blessing, Body of Art