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The World of the Saints
     

The World of the Saints

by Norbert Wolf
 
This lavish collection of religious portraiture focuses on a selection of saints who inspired artists and their patrons.In the history of western art perhaps no commission was more important or challenging than the depiction of the saints. Popes, emperors, noblemen and patricians sought the talents of the most revered artists of their time to adorn their churches,

Overview

This lavish collection of religious portraiture focuses on a selection of saints who inspired artists and their patrons.In the history of western art perhaps no commission was more important or challenging than the depiction of the saints. Popes, emperors, noblemen and patricians sought the talents of the most revered artists of their time to adorn their churches, monasteries, and homes with these potent images. Now in an appealing combination of religious art and history this unique volume brings together 150 illustrations of both beloved and little-known saints. Arranged according to the festival dates in the Christian Cal<%END%>ar, The World of Saints features vibrant reproductions by such artists as van Eyck, Fra Angelico, D�rer, Raphael, Leonardo, Caravaggio, El Greco, and Rubens. Double-page spreads include information about the stories of eighty of the most important saints and explanations of their attributes, along with interesting facts about the genesis of the works, which include paintings, altarpieces, frescoes, and sculptures. In addition, more than one hundred lesser-known saints are identified in a useful lexicon, along with an illustrated index of symbols listing each saint�s characteristics. The introductory essay provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of saintly devotion and the significance these religious figures hold in the history of western art.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The Christian calendar of feast days determines the order of coverage for the 80 saints profiled here, with an alphabetical lexicon toward the back of the book briefly describing more than 100 more. Their portraits range from early medieval to modern and include frescoes, mosaics, manuscript illuminations, reliquaries, sculptures, and paintings (many by the Old Masters). Wolf (art history, Univ. of Innsbruck, Austria) had the admirable objective of presenting the fascination with holy personages as reflected in their artistic depictions. Although the color photography is gorgeous and Wolf's seven-page introduction on the development of Western European attitudes toward saints insightful, the overall presentation is problematic. The book has neither footnote citations nor a bibliography; the double-page spreads devoted to each saint, which include a full-plate color illustration on the right page and a smaller illustration with explanatory text on the left, waste space; the commentary on some of the saints is frustratingly skimpy; and the appendix of symbols and the illustration index are sloppily edited (e.g., some symbols are out of alphabetical order, and there are misspellings of artists' names, though they are correct in Wolf's text). So, while this could work as a coffee-table book enjoyed for its beautiful pictures, as a quick reference for individual saints, it is not recommended for library purchase.-Anne Marie Lane, Univ. of Wyoming Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783791333182
Publisher:
Prestel Publishing
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Pages:
215
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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