Ritual and Seduction
The Human Body As Art
Photographs by Charles and Josette Lenars, Text by Andre Virel
New English Library, 1980, full-colour photographs throughout, gold embossed, red cloth hardback, dustjacket, ISBN 0450048195
Very Good Condition, spine beginning to weaken slightly, dustjacket rubbed on edges and corners
'In his introduction to this endlessly fascinating volume, Andre Virel traces the historical, sociological, mythological, and psychological significance of adornment, with particular emphasis on the mask as a means of camouflage or transformation. He covers the four major themes: seduction, threat, caste, and ritual. Using examples from the four continents, with special attention to Africa and New Guinea, Virel shows us the seductive powers of tattooing and body painting; the aggressive potential of masks; the hierarchical nature of costume, which is associated with class consciousness; and the elemental origins of scarification. His wide-ranging text includes a discussion of African tribal rituals, the Egyptian sphinx, the masks of Carnival and Mardi Gras, and the famous story of the Man in the Iron Mask.
Charles and Josette Lenars have traveled the world over in their photographic quest for traditional arts, religions, folk customs, and archaeological sites of vanished civilizations. Their photo essays have appeared in Realites, Connaissance des Arts, and elsewhere.
This volume, with its wealth of striking illustrations, also contains a bibliography and an index.'