Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C. – A.D. 250, Part 250

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University of California Press, Apr 16, 2001 - Art - 372 pages
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"Clarke teaches us to think about how this art was understood and felt by those who lived with it in their daily lives and he speculates that it might even reflect what the Romans actually did. This is the first genuinely contextual and theoretically informed study we have of a vast panoply of classical art about sex. It will be an illuminating book for classicists, historians, and anybody else who finds lovemaking interesting."—Thomas Laqueur, author of Making Sex

"There are few scholars as able to take on this material, as well versed in theories of sexuality, and as comfortable dealing with both heterosexual and homoerotic content as Clarke. The topic is timely and the execution is professional."—Natalie Kampen, Barnard College

"This book should attract not only classicists, but also scholars of sexuality in any field. Clarke succeeds both in introducing little-known material and in defamiliarizing the familiar examples of erotic art."—Anthony Corbeill, University of Kansas

"Looking at Lovemaking proves that the ancients were very different from you and me—that they saw sex not primarily as procreation and never as sin but rather as sport, art, and pleasure, an activity full of humor, tenderness and above all variety. John R. Clarke, by looking at Roman artifacts from several centuries destined to be used by different social classes, reveals that the erotic visual record is far more varied, open-minded and playful than are written moral strictures, which were narrowly formulated by the Úlite and for the Úlite. This book is at once discreet and bold—discreetly respectful of nuance and context, boldly clear in drawing the widest possible conclusions about the malleability of human behavior. Clarke has, with meticulous scholarship and a fresh approach, vindicated Foucault's revolutionary claims for the social construction of sexuality."—Edmund White, author of The Beautiful Room is Empty

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About the author (2001)

John R. Clarke is Annie Laurie Howard Regents Professor of Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Houses of Roman Italy: Ritual, Space, and Decoration (California, 1991).

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