Folio Society 2010. As new book with good slipcase. Quarter bound with illustrated boards and green buckram spine and gilt titles. Slipcase has some light shelfwear with some scuffmarks. Art historian, author and presenter of the hugely influential series Civilisation, Kenneth Clark possessed a profound knowledge and appreciation of art, and the ability to communicate it. The Nude is considered his best book. In this classic work he shows how, through the centuries, the depiction of the human body has remained the pinnacle of Western art. Clark was the first art historian to consider the distinction between the 'naked' and the 'nude'. In his now-famous definition, the former implies a huddled and defenceless body, while the latter is a balanced and confident form that has been, for centuries, of central importance in Western art. The 'nude' is, he explains, not just a subject but an art form, invented by the greeks in the 5th century BC, 'just as opera is an art form invented in 17th-century italy'. It shows the human body as a serious subject of contemplation: often idealised, yet real, and arousing feelings varying from desire to pathos and awe.