Ferdinand Protzman, Author . National Geographic Society $30 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4262-0115-8

Much of love's established, contemporary iconography comes from photography—Brassaï's couple embracing in a Paris cafe (included here) or Alfred Eisenstadt's post-WWII Times Square embrace, but in this beautiful volume, love is conveyed in both predictable and surprising ways. Images by famous photographers—inside and outside of National Geographic 's stable—capture the emotion from across the decades and around the globe. Here love's iconography is expanded to include a heart-shaped balloon floating over the city of Jaipur and three babies crawling in a row across colorful, plaid blankets. The emotion's darker side is touched upon, as well as love between parents and children—a child kisses its mother's nose in Milan—and siblings. In some of the book's most surprising images, lovers pull the viewer's attention into the background of a picture that otherwise calls one's attention to discord or isolation. An essay by ARTnews contributing editor Protzman adds context to and commentary on some of the images, but the pictures speak for themselves. Though the point may be that love is expressed the same way in every culture, time and place, it's the differences among this broad range of settings and eras that keep one interested. A strong choice for any coffee-table. 150 color and b&w plates. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/03/2007
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-4262-0629-0
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