Lives and Legends of the Saints: With Paintings from the Great Art Museums of the World


From Joan of Arc to John the Baptist, here are twenty of the best-known, best-loved saints in Christian history as portrayed by the world's greatest artists.
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From Joan of Arc to John the Baptist, here are twenty of the best-known, best-loved saints in Christian history as portrayed by the world's greatest artists.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-The 20 saints and martyrs gathered here are, with few exceptions, either biblical figures central to the Christian story (John the Baptist, Joseph, Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene) or heroes of the early church. The biographies are brief-two or three paragraphs at most. Most of the selected martyrs lived under the pagan Roman emperors and proved their piety by dying in bizarre and horrendous ways. Some are famous for their legendary deeds-Christopher, for example, and Saint George. Also included are the two great medieval figures, Francis of Assisi and Joan of Arc. Details from works by Raphael, Giotto, and lesser known artists of the 14th to 16th centuries show the veneration in which these saints were later held in Europe. However, the confusion of Renaissance costumes and details with events that occurred back in the Roman Empire takes the book out of the realm of history and places it firmly in the category of religion, with some application to art history. The emphasis, both in text and in the artistic renderings, is on legend and miracle; the stories are drawn from church tradition and hagiology. The volume concludes with an index of the paintings and a complete calendar of the saints venerated on each day of the year. Handsomely designed, and with a text that elaborates on the curious and intriguing legends that surround the Catholic saints, the book is particularly appropriate for church schools and public libraries with extensive and balanced religious collections.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Ilene Cooper
ghtly younger for reading aloud. Children have always been intrigued by the lives of the saints, but rarely have they had so glorious a book with which to indulge their interest. Using paintings from such museums as the Louvre, the National Gallery, and the Prado, the book introduces 20 saints, most well-known and beloved, though there are a couple of fascinating exceptions. For instance, there's St. Lucy, who plucked out her eyes in order to deter a suitor. (Not to worry, God restored them). Of course, this mix of mystery and martyrdom is what has captured imaginations over the centuries and is the subject matter of a healthy helping of the world's art. Here, young people can pore over Caravaggio's painting of St. Paul almost being trampled by his horse after being blinded on the road to Damascus; Raphael's interpretation of St. George slaying his dragon; and St. Joan in full battle dress as portrayed by the French artist Ingres. Armstrong does a fine job of making each introduction brief, yet full of enticing detail. An index of the paintings and a calendar of the saints complete the well-designed and carefully thought-through package.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689802775
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1995
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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