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The First Ladies of Rome: The Women Behind the Caesars

Freisenbruch Annelise Near Fine in publishers cloth in like dustjacket. 1st edition, 1st issue. The First Ladies of Rome is a richly detailed historical picture of some of those great women of Rome, born or married into the house of the caesars. Opening at the dawn of the imperial age, the story begins with the rise of Livia, the first 'first lady', and proceeds to ghost the timeline of imperial Roman history through six dynasties, to Galla Placida, captured by a rampaging Goth horde only to rise to prominence as one of the last empresses.In this remarkable book Annelise Freisenbruch casts a spotlight into every corner of the private and public lives of some of the most intriguing women in history, showing how they were moulded to meet the political requirements of their emperors, be they fathers, husbands, brothers or lovers. But these women proved to be liabilities as well as assets, and The First Ladies of Rome unveils a full range of characters whose identities were to reverberate through the ages, from the virtuous consort, the sexually voracious schemer and the savvy political operator, to the flighty bluestocking, the religious icon and the romantic heroine. It also delves into their everyday lives and the world of Rome - taking in education, clothing, health, sex lives, slaves, children, marriages, deaths, and their pivotal roles as political, artistic and architectural patrons.Using a full spectrum of the most up-to-date literary, artistic, archaeological and epigraphic evidence, this book reveals for the first time the rich kaleidoscopic history of these women's lives, and the vivid and complex role of the empresses as political players on Rome's greatest stage. ISBN 0224085298
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Picasso Portraits

Cowling Elizabeth Fine in publishers cloth in like dustjacket. 1st edition, 1st issue. From first to last, Picasso s prime subject was the human figure and portraiture remained a favourite genre. His earliest portraits were done from life and reveal a precocious ability to catch likeness and suggest character and state of mind. By 1900 Picasso was producing portraits of astonishing variety and thereafter they reflected the full range of his innovative styles symbolist, cubist, neoclassical, surrealist, expressionist. But however extreme his departure from representational conventions, Picasso never wholly abandoned drawing from the sitter or ceased producing portraits of classic beauty and naturalism. For all his radical originality, Picasso remained in constant dialogue with the art of the past and his portraits often alluded to canonical masterpieces, chosen for their appropriateness to the looks and personality of his subject. Treating favourite Old Masters as indecorously as his intimate friends, he enjoyed caricaturing them and indulging in fantasies about their sex lives that mirrored his own obsession with the interaction of eroticism and creativity. His late suites of free variations after Vel‡zquez s Las Meninas and Rembrandt s The Prodigal Son, both of which involve self-portraiture, allowed him to ruminate on the complex psychological relationship of artist and sitter, and continuities between past and present. When Picasso depicted people in his intimate circle, the nature of his bond with them inevitably influenced his interpretation. The focus of this book is not, however, Picasso s life story but his creative process, and, although following a broadly chronological path, its chapters are structured thematically. Issues addressed in depth include Picasso s exploitation of familiar poses and formats, his sources of inspiration and identification with favourite Old Masters, the role of caricature in his expressive conception of portraiture, the relationship between observation, memory and fantasy, critical differences between his portrayal of men and women, and the motivation behind his defiance of decorum and the extreme transformation of his sitter s appearance. ISBN 1855145421