Saints and their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in Art and in Popular Images

Overview

"Christian saints, in both the East and in the West, have historically been associated with particular accoutrements or "attributes" by which they are identified. Through such associations, these saints come to life in visual imagery and iconography, in statuary, and in the popular imagination. In the course of time, however, such attributes have become dimmed in the minds of many. Saints and Their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in art and in Popular Images revivifies these saintly attributes and enhances foremost in the minds of its readers the
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Overview

"Christian saints, in both the East and in the West, have historically been associated with particular accoutrements or "attributes" by which they are identified. Through such associations, these saints come to life in visual imagery and iconography, in statuary, and in the popular imagination. In the course of time, however, such attributes have become dimmed in the minds of many. Saints and Their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in art and in Popular Images revivifies these saintly attributes and enhances foremost in the minds of its readers the associations built up by tradition." "For those unacquainted with the traditional attributes associated with the saints, this book will serve as a useful introduction. For those who have pondered the reason for a particular object's or characteristic's universal connection with a saint's image, this volume will provide, through narrative context, the "why" of the association in the first place and the reasons for its continuity down through the ages." "Short biographies anchor the saints in their legendary and historical exploits, almost all of which are accompanied by beautiful photographs illustrating the saints' distinctive attributes." Situated initially through the introduction, the saints' histories that follow are further cross-referenced with an accessible iconographic dictionary and a useful index of the saints' emblems.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814629703
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,159,400
  • Product dimensions: 9.72 (w) x 12.24 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Informative, useful reference on Christian religious art

    Under the heading of the major section, 'Historical Survey or Historical Atlas of the Saints,' over 150 saints are included in rough chronological order, beginning with the parents of the Virgin Mary and ending with Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, who died in a German concentration camp in 1942. Along with key biographical facts, entries for each of the numerous saints discuss symbols, settings, poses, clothing, and objects commonly included in paintings or other artistic representations of the respective saint and why these details are associated with him or her. With each entry is a work of art in which the saint is pictured. The large-size, glossy-paged reference has the quality of a coffee-table art book. But its primary purpose is helping reader identify saints in works of art mostly from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but from other eras as well. The well-thought-out reference is useful in different ways. One can go through the 'Historical Survey' in order or randomly to learn about the saints as they have been represented in works of art throughout history and look at the related works of art. The Index, on the other hand, lists the many details found in works of art on saints so that one can find a particular saint from details in a particular work--which one might have seen in a museum or public square in Italy, for example. And there's a third approach to coming to understand and appreciate the the portrayals of saints that have been a large part of Western and Near Eastern visual art in past centuries: The 'Dictionary of Saints with Their Attributes' is a visual, alphabetical cataloguing of the saints in typical poses with typical garb and holding or alongside typical symbols or objects. The black-and-white illustrations of the Dictionary can be compared to an image one might have seen or recalled; and then one is directed to the written entry to learn about the saint and the work of art where one saw the image. For its comprehensiveness, attractiveness, and usefulness as a reference, this work is patently a leading work in its field. The authors are involved in different Italian cultural, art, and religious institutions.

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