From Eve to Mary Magdalene, the great women of the Bible are profiled in this beautiful volume, each with her own entry and illustrated with paintings from museum collections around the world. Young readers will be fascinated by the story of Rachel and Leah, who both fell in love with Jacob, as well as the tale of Delilah's wily ways. Girls will likely be inspired by Deborah, the only female judge in Israel, and marvel at Judith's bravery in helping to defeat the Assyrians in battle. The highlights of these women's lives make for compelling reading and may well encourage further exploration of the Bible (Armstrong lists a scripture quote at the beginning of each entry). Exquisite works by Caravaggio, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Nicholas Poussin, among others, render this a treasure for family sharing. An index of artists and paintings appears on the book's final pages. All ages. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gr 3-6Gracefully written condensed versions of the stories of Eve, Hagar and Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, Deborah, Delilah, Ruth and Naomi, Abigail, Bathsheba, Esther, Judith, Susanna, Elisabeth, the Virgin Mary, Herodias and Salome, Martha and Mary, and Mary Magdalene, presented in handsome, well-spaced type. Each one is grandly illustrated with large, full-page reproductions of appropriate Renaissance paintings by artists such as Giorgione, Filippo Lippi, Cranach, Poussin, and Caravaggio, as well as one more recent work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The final paragraph of each selection tells something about the technique, symbolism, point of view, or history of the artwork itself. An informative, attractive guide to outstanding women in both the Old and New Testaments, this book includes Scripture citations and an index of artists and paintings.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Seventeen full-page reproductions present twenty-two influential women from the Bible, from Eve to Mary Magdalene. Although not all are role models (as demonstrated by Salome), there is no doubt of their significance. As in Armstrong's Lives and Legends of the Saints, each painting (most often, a detail from a painting) is accompanied by a one-page explication, preceded by a pertinent quote from the Bible and ending with a brief commentary on the artist's technique. Most are from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, but Rosetti's "Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah" adds a late-nineteenth-century sensibility. Consequently, the book combines art appreciation with an introduction to Bible studies. Here the selection of paintings is particularly revealing of the idea that each age rewrites (or re-envisions) history in its own image, as in the elaborate Renaissance costume provided for Ruth as she stands before the fields she has so recently gleaned. An appended visual index of artists and paintings offers information about the locations of the originals and the dates of their creators, and photographic sources are given.
Armstrong (Lives and Legends of the Saints, 1995, etc.) continues her felicitous union of celebrated paintings with stories from the religious tradition, this time relating the achievements of a series of women in brief, biographical sketches and presenting their portraits by medieval, Renaissance, or 17-century artists from Cranach to Rogier van der Weyden. This handsome volume brings to life the actions of women in arenas as seemingly disparate as the domestic and the international, the traditionally nurturant and the politically (and so ruthlessly) expedient. Of the 22 women featured, 13 are from the Old Testament (Eve, Hagar, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Deborah, Delilah, Ruth, Naomi, Abigail, Bathsheba, Esther), 2 are from the Apocrypha (Judith, Susanna), and 7 are from the New Testament (Elisabeth, the Virgin Mary, Herodias, Salome, Lazarus's Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene). A paragraph of critical appreciation of the paintingappearing in high-quality reproduction concludes the text of every spread; succinct bibliographic information appears in a final pictorial index. The book will entice both students of religion and of art history to further study, yet it stands so sturdily on its own as a satisfying survey that it's difficult to conceive of the forum in which it would not be welcome. (Nonfiction. 4-8)