The Art of Civilization

A Bourgeois History

  • Didier┬áMaleuvre

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 1-12
  3. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 13-38
  4. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 39-55
  5. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 57-81
  6. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 83-104
  7. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 105-127
  8. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 129-149
  9. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 151-173
  10. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 175-199
  11. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 201-232
  12. Didier Maleuvre
    Pages 233-288
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 289-316

About this book


This book tells the story of how art since ancient Greece is inextricably linked to a particular place and social group: the city and its homegrown species, the bourgeois. Despite the fact that it has glorified the crown and the cross for most of its history; despite its mystical, lofty, or subversive aura; despite its oft-professed scorn of the down-to-earth bourgeoisie, in truth art has always been the product of craft and labor. As such it bears the imprint of the workshop and the independent mentality of producers. Breaking with a misty-eyed romantic view of art, The Art of Civilization shows how artistic expression in Western societies has helped the rise of a demystified and pragmatic mindset. Art indeed has civilized us, laying the groundwork for the historical victory of brain over brawn, of reason over mystique, and of productive bourgeois ways over the transcendental.


Bourgeoisie Art and Culture Civilization Western Society Art and the City Aesthetics

Authors and affiliations

  • Didier┬áMaleuvre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of French and ItalianUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraUSA

Bibliographic information