Civilisation

Civilisation Art

  • Title: Civilisation
  • Author: Kenneth Clark
  • ISBN: 9780719522406
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • Art

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      Posted by:Kenneth Clark
      Published :2020-06-10T17:55:50+00:00

    About " Kenneth Clark "

  • Kenneth Clark

    There is than one author with this nameKenneth McKenzie Clark, Baron Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA was a British author, museum director, broadcaster, and one of the best known art historians of his generation In 1969, he achieved an international popular presence as the writer, producer, and presenter of the BBC Television series, Civilisation.

  • 804 Comments

  • I started watching this and then bought the book. This is sumptuous. It was made in 1969 by the BBC to encourage people to buy colour television sets, I believe. As an introduction to the arts it is quite conservative. But it gives an interesting overview of the history of art and some notion of the main periods. What he calls civilisation covers a remarkably slight and slender portion of human civilisation, you know, apart from the occasional bridge, it really seems to amount to art. Nothing wr [...]


  • I wonder if a single thought that has helped forward the human spirit has ever been conceived or written down in an enormous roomI must admit immediately that I have never read nor even laid eyes on this book. I’m sure it’s lovely. This review is, rather, about the television series, which I’d wager is twice as lovely.Civilisation is the best documentary I’ve ever seen. Kenneth Clark takes his viewer from the Dark Ages, through romanesque, gothic, the Renaissance, the Reformation, baroqu [...]


  • This weekend I have indulged myself with a visit to Hatchard's Piccadilly, London's oldest bookstore. For those who haven't been there yet - I strongly recommend you do next time you are in the city! It is a fabulous place. A bookstore as the bookstores were meant to be. Full of charm, treasures to be found and quirky intelligent staff. Perhaps it is not where one goes bargain-hunting, but their selection is superb. Most of the new releases available 'signed by the author' and they are also offe [...]


  • About two-thirds of the way through, Clark makes a statement that to me sums up the whole point of the narrative: "[A]lthough one may use works of art to illustrate the history of civilization, one must not pretend that social conditions produce works of art or inevitably influence their form." This is exactly what Clark does: the progress of art is discussed in parallel with the progress in civilization, of which art is simultaneously herald, inspirator, and mirror. At times I feel that Clark d [...]


  • God, if this were newerHere's an incredible survey of what happened in art, philosophy, and (most importantly) architecture from ~1000-1915. It's not entirely optimistic, but looks up enough. Paths, rights, and wrongs don't much play into it. We're creating piles of architecture, sweet paintings, effortless sculpture--or we're graceful in proportion, famed in ideas, moderate in wealth, and subtle in human appreciation. If there's a pattern, it's cyclical, short, and ecstatic. Some of the best pi [...]


  • Kenneth Clark was a mixed bag. On the one hand he believed in many sensible things: that society needs institutions, order is better than chaos, creation is better than destruction, and in sympathy over ideology, knowledge over ignorance, gentleness over violence, and forgiveness over vendetta. He believed in a need to learn from history. He believed in a basic lack of change in human nature over millennia.These are the observations of a sober and honest man.He also correctly predicted from what [...]


  • I picked this up at a thrift shop because I didn't see the BBC series back in the late sixties. I was always attracted to the image of Charlemagne on the cover. This being a series of essays rather than a linear history of art and civilization, Clark leads us through the development of Western Europe through some interesting generalizations: that craft (text illumination, decoration, reliquaries) led to art and architecture during the middle ages; that the age of reason eventually led to a "Wors [...]


  • This book is a fitting companion to the excellent videos of the same name. Kenneth Clark was one of those delightful english gentlemen with an impeccable education, and who use english properly and to whom it is a pleasure to listen, and to watch (other than for seing his english dentistry). It traces the precarious survival of christian civilization in the last thousand or so years, through the accomplishments of that time that--unlike history--cannot easily lie: its Art; its Books; and its Arc [...]


  • From Aurelius to Aristotle and from Michelangelo to Byron, the presenter Kenneth Clark had an exquisite taste that any man would die for. If I can travel back in time, I would definitely want his company all day long and listen to his observations and findings of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. And yes, I love his tweeds!


  • Verbatim of classic TV series where Kenneth Clark discussed civilization of Western Europe from collapse of Roman Europe to recent times.I am not familiar with original TV program so for me this was the first introduction with Clark and I loved it,his way with words is very classy and he surely and swiftly moves from one subject to another,in fact there were so many interesting side-stories that I started to note everything down for future research,absolutely loved his style and often would re-r [...]


  • Although both the book dates back to 1969, I enjoyed the reading very much. To be honest, I read the book and watched the related DVD-series simultaneously. The DVD offers the opportunity to see also the buildings, pieces of art, paintings to which Sir Kenneth Clark refers. The book covers a history of civilisation covering more than a millenium of European history. Focus is rather on the Low Countries, Italy, Germany, France and the Isles. Little or no attention to Spain and Eastern/ Middle Eur [...]


  • This book is more than 50 years old, and only the paper version of a BBC-TV-series. As a young man I saw some parts of it and was very impressed by the erudition of Clark and his strong vision. So many years later, that vision obviously is very outdated; the narrow Western focus today would be completely out of the question; moreover, Clark did not venture into the twentieth century art, though we do have the impression that he has a not so flattering opinion about it. Some of his remarks, we wo [...]


  • I first saw this series when it was released by the BBC to Public Television over thirty years ago, and would beg my local station, WHYY, to keep running it until their money ran out. Why? Quite simply, to my mind, it is the most superior series ever seen on television, public or not. Lord Clark was not only brilliant, witty and engaging, but he was a teacher and, surprisingly, a most charming television presence. He has become my lifetime companion, and if this series ever comes out on DVD, I w [...]


  • Kenneth Clark was an historian of art who wrote and narrated the first color BBC documentary, Civilisation, and produced a lavishly illustrated book along the same lines. The film was shown at Grinnell College during my freshman year. Thereafter I picked up the book.Both book and documentary are not so much histories of art as they are histories of (primarily western) civilization earmarked to great and illustrative works of art.Grinnell College is not the place to go if one enjoys the spendors [...]


  • izumen/2013/11/bl"Цивилизацията" на Кенет Кларк е едно пътуване през човешката история в търсене на това толкова неизмеримо понятия "цивилизация". По самите думи на автора можем да съдим колко трудно е то да бъде систематизирано в едно или две изречения."Какво е цивилизация? Не знам [...]


  • A companion book to a TV show that ran on BBC2 in the '70s. It covers Western European 'civilisation' from the Early Middle Ages to the 19th century, mostly through art and architecture. Lightweight but recommended for its humanizing anecdotes about figures like Abbot Suger, Erasmus, and Descartes, and for the author's amusingly patrician, pompous, very English style.


  • Just don't ask Sir Kenneth about the Spanish.funny how he could present an overview of European art without so much as a word about them. Hmmmm.



  • Although this book went in a different direction from what I expected, I still found it thought-provoking and worthwhile to read. Clark seeks to give the reader his take on the development of European society of the last thousand years through the movements in its architecture and art. He starts with the collapsed of the Roman Empire and follows the different artistic movements that arose during the “barbarian” invasions as they morphed from imitating the Roman style to developing their own. [...]



  • Great book in a rare genre "great person writes about their favorite things". It was mentioned in one of Paul Graham's old essays. It's about evolution of Western European civilization, viewed through the lens of art, architecture and literature. Technically it's not even a book - it's a script for an old TV series, but the writing is great. I had paperback edition that didn't have any illustrations whatsoever (kind of an odd decision for a book about art, but not fatal in the age of google imag [...]


  • From what I know of the current generation of 0 to 30+ somethings, Kenneth Clark is probably all but forgotten and perhaps, to the few who do know him, a bit off putting. The latter because he speaks as a civilized man, as a gentleman; which they are likely to assume is a form of elitism or snobbishness. They have been taught the race, class, gender perspective of history and Western history and civilization in particular. They know about Rigoberta Menchu, Western racism, "inequality," and would [...]


  • Seldom is a book written with such poise, erudition, and love for its subject matter. Kenneth Clark, a respected (if controversial) art historian and educator, guides the reader through roughly 1400 years of Western art, starting with the six centuries following the fall of Rome and ending in the mid-20th century. Its ambitious chronology aside, Civilisation concerns itself with a wide array of disciplines. Though the visual arts occupy the center of the book's discussions, other subjects - from [...]


  • The last time I picked up this book & was unable to put it down, was in September, 2001. My story now begins with me taking it off the shelf last Wednesday to reread a section Clark wrote about Michelangelo's David, & I haven't been able to put it down this time either. This would culminate a 3rd complete reading since being introduced to "Civilisation" as a text in a Humanities class, my first year of college, Spring 1979.My professors today conclude that Clark is opinionated, pompous, [...]


  • What a fantastic book. Big, fat, and full of full page color pictures as well as smaller pictures, and a rambling, personal, humane, story- telling prose to fill in every space in between. Clark's humor is fun. His perspective is clear eyed. And I feel as if I'm back in college sitting in class looking at slides of ancient European art while a professor who obviously loves what he does stands there going on and on about it. I slowly fall in love with each and every piece, dream of touring Europe [...]


  • This book is essentially the script from Kenneth Clark's magnificent BBC Televison series on the history of Western European art. Clark makes it very clear that his goal is to help the person with a casual interest in art appreciate the great works of France, Italy, Germany and England. For this reason the examples that he used for every period were taken from museums, places, churches and cathedrals that granted easy access to the general public.The TV series then provided an excellent preparat [...]


  • Kenneth Clark may not know what civilization is, but he darn sure knows it when he sees it. Specifically, he knows it when he sees it in art and architecture.A Confession:This was a textbook I was assigned in high school. Specifically, by Ms. Scott for our Humanities class. I may have read significantly less of it than I should have. (I did read everything assigned from our American Lit book, as well as all of Oedipus Rex and Beowulf, so it's not like I was a total slacker.) Apparently it is als [...]


  • I wonder if this isn't the original "go-with" book for a TV series? I've been reading it while watching the series (on DVD). The book is a more-or-less literal transcription of the series. Clark is wonderful. Do we have anyone of his caliber writing or doing TV series these days.The series is visually rich and the book can only be a pale copy. Nevertheless it's nice to be able to read and stop and think about the points being made.Small criticism of the book: The plates are not very well labelle [...]


  • I have owned this beautiful book for so long that I can't recall if I bought it before or after watching the TV series. I read it in 'nibbles' but have finally tackled it as a sumptuous, leisurely banquet. Such an eloquent writer and presenter, Lord Clark might have added another chapter, one for the Internet Age, had he still been around after this paperback edition (1971). What would he have made of Western civilisation of the past 40 years, and who would he have held up as 'moving humanity fo [...]


  • I read this many years ago and recall being mesmerized by the late Sir Kenneth Clark's erudition and lucid delivery. This time around I saw something else. And a lot of it irritated me. I must have missed the snarky tone of an art elitist. I definitely missed the cherrypicking. To be sure there are limitations in television and only so much material can be used. To that end, I am not sure Clark picked all of the right material. But he had his point to make (way back in 1969) and that was everyth [...]


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