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Flying Out of this World

Flights of fancy and fear, ecstatic highs, dreadful falls, and beckoning skies: these are the images British filmmaker Peter Greenaway collects and dissects in Flying out of This World, the second volume in a series developed by the Louvre and devoted to innovative writing on the visual arts.

As guest curator, Greenaway selected from the Louvre’s collection of European prints and drawings ninety-one masterpieces that illustrate the human longing for flight. Greenaway’s text, a compilation of brief commentaries that combine description, allusion, and interpretation, illuminate the images as depictions of flight desired and denied. Including works by Redon, Goya, Brueghel, Michelangelo, Mantegna, Rubens, Poussin, and Delacroix, this volume offers a combination of literary and visual art, of sight and insight.

A pursuit through the Bible, classical mythology, cosmology, theology, etymology, ornithology, and meteorology, Flying out of This World is not just an illustrated history of imagined flight, but a meditation on its meaning as a metaphor for the human condition, caught between a weighty body and a soaring spirit.

206 pages | 48 color plates, 46 halftones | 8-1/4 x 11-13/16 | © 1994

Art: Art Criticism, European Art

Table of Contents

Introduction: Flying out of this World
1. Earth-bound with Gravity
2. Possibilities of Flight
3. Flight Begins
4. The Skies
5. The Lower Reaches
6. The Stratosphere
7. The Great Fall Begins
8. The Disgraced
9. Flying in Hell
List of Illustrations
Source Notes
Index of Artists

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