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.
De Botton argues that certain great works of art offer clues on managing the tensions and confusions of everyday life. Art as Therapy is packed with 150 examples of outstanding art, with chapters on Love, Nature, Money, and Politics outlining how these works can help with common difficulties. For example, Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter helps us 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.
De Botton demonstrates how art can guide and console us, and along the way, help us to better understand both art and ourselves.
240 pp, hardback, 150 colour illustrations