Since the second millennium BC feminine beauty has inspired great art. In a superb and highly informative essay Kenneth Clark demonstrates that while different periods and cultures in the West have held different ideals of the female form, beauty has a timelessness which transcends fashion and environment, and its image can be found in any age. It can be as diverse as a medieval madonna and a voluptuous nude of the Baroque, an enchantment by Fragonard and the characteristic melancholy of Virginia Woolf or Greta Garbo. Yet, in citing the figures of antiquity - Nefertiti, the Venus of Milo - and of modern times, Lord Clark reveals the constancy of beauty over four thousand years.
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