What is art's purpose? In this engaging, lively, and controversial new book, bestselling philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian John Armstrong propose a new way of looking at familiar masterpieces, suggesting that they can be useful, relevant, and above all else therapeutic for their viewers. De Botton argues that certain great works offer clues on managing the tensions and confusions of everyday life. Chapters on Love, Nature, Money, and Politics outline how art can help with these common difficulties for example, Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter helps us focus on what we want to be loved for; Serra's Fernando Pessoa 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 offers an unconventional perspective, demonstrating how art can guide us, console us, and help us better understand ourselves.
About the Author
"Alain de Botton (b.1969) is the author of bestselling books in more than 30 countries, including The Consolations of Philosophy, How Proust Can Change Your Life, Status Anxiety, and most recently Religion for Atheists. He founded The School of Life in London in 2008, which supplies good ideas for everyday life in the form of courses, classes, workshops and talks. In 2009 he founded Living Architecture, which aims to make high‐quality architecture accessible to everyone.John Armstrong (b.1966) is a British philosopher and art historian based at Melbourne University. He is the author of five well‐received books, including The Intimate Philosophy of Art, Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy, and In Search of Civilisation: Remaking a Tarnished Idea."
A captivating, uncomplicated read that challenges how artists, dealers, and particularly, art museums do business, and anyone who cares about art should get a copy.—The Denver Post
When I read through Art as Therapy, paintings that I had long admired suddenly became new when seen through the filter of self awareness and exploration. Really a gem of a book.—Goop
Bountiful food for thought here, elegantly phrased and finely illustrated.—The Seattle Times
A profoundly refreshing and heterodox approach to art. . . Art as Therapy upend[s] the art world's self-referential culture [and] boldly positions art at the center of our daily lives.—Publishers Weekly