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Ways of Seeing was a 1972 BBC television series created chiefly by writer John Berger and producer Mike Dibb, that led to a book of the same name. The series and book criticize traditional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. The series is partially a response to Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series, which represents a more traditionalist view of the Western artistic and cultural canon.
The book Ways of Seeing was made by Berger and Dibb, along with Sven Blomberg, Chris Fox, and Richard Hollis. The book consists of seven numbered essays: four using words and images; and three essays using only images.The book has contributed to feminist readings of popular culture, through essays that focus particularly on depictions of women in advertisements and oil paintings. Ways of Seeing is considered to be a seminal text for current studies of visual culture and art history.
In this first edition, he examines how a group of children view Caravaggio's painting Christ at Emmaus when not aware of the layers of religious sentiment attached to the famous work.