Art as Therapy
by Alain de Botton, John Armstrong
(*)(*)(*)(*)( )(17)
What is art for? In the engaging, lively and controversial new book, bestselling philosopher Alain de Botton, with art historian John Armstrong, proposes a new way of looking at art, suggesting that it can be useful, relevant and above all else, therapeutic for its audiences. Art as Therapy is packed with 150 examples of outstanding art, while chapters on Love, Nature, Money and Politics show how art can help with many common difficulties, from forging good relationships, finding happiness, to coming to terms with mortality. De Botton argues that certain great works of art have clues as to how to manage the tensions and confusions of life. For example, Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter helps us to focus on what we want to be loved for; Serra's Fernando Passoa reminds us of the importance of dignity in suffering; and Manet's Bunch of Asparagus teaches us how to preserve and value our long-term partners. Art as Therapy shows us how art can guide and console us, and along the way, help us to understand both art and ourselves better. It's fascinating reading for those who are familiar with art as well as those that are new to the subject.

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