Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art

Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art

James Hall

Language: English

Pages: 408

ISBN: 0813343933

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The understanding and enjoyment of a work of art depends as much on the story it depicts as on the artist’s execution of it. But what were once biblical or classical commonplaces are not so readily recognizable today. This book relates in a succinct and readable way the themes, sacred and secular, on which the repertoire of Western art is based. Combined here in a single volume are religious, classical, and historical themes, figures of moral allegory, and characters from romantic poetry that appeared throughout paintings and sculpture in Western art before and after the Renaissance. More than just a dictionary, this text places these subjects in their narrative, historical, or mythological context and uses extensive cross-referencing to enhance and clarify the meanings of these themes for the reader.

The definitive work by which others are compared, this volume has become an indispensable handbook for students and general appreciators alike. This wholly redesigned second edition includes a new insert of images chosen by the author, as well as a new preface and index to highlight the ideas, beliefs, and social and religious customs that form the background of much of this subject matter.

Shock of the New

The Vivisector

Lifelike Drawing In Colored Pencil With Lee Hammond

Art of India (Temporis Collection)

Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings

Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo


















of Constantine the Great, she devoted the latter part of her life to good works after Christianity became officially tolerated in the Roman empire by the edict of her son. She founded churches in the Holy Land and, according to legend, there discovered the cross on which Christ was crucified (see further, TRUE CROSS, HISTORY OF THE). She is usually portrayed as an elderly matron, regally dressed and wearing a CROWN. She holds a cross and sometimes three NAILS and a HAMMER, or a model of a church

it. There may be a LION at his feet, the emblem of his fortitude. He is usually in armour and may be accompanied by Natalia. Ae?tes, king of Colchis, see JASON. Aeneas. A Trojan prince who escaped by sea with a band of companions after the sack of Troy by the Greeks. After many adventures they reached Latium in Italy where they settled. They were the legendary ancestors of the Roman people. The story is told in Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid. Throughout, Aeneas was buffeted by fate in the form of

shown standing before Apollo holding out her cupped hands which contain the heap of dust. He sits on a rock before her, one hand resting on his lyre. A late theme, first seen in the 17th cent. The Pastoral Cod 8. Apollo the Shepherd; Apollo and Mercury. Apollo was sent by his father Jupiter to serve king Admetus as a shepherd, a punishment forkillingtheCyclopes, Jupiter's armourers. This pastoral, or nomadic, Apollo (Apollo Nomius) sits under a tree, perhaps the bay which was sacred to him, and

two thieves ('bandits' or 'criminals* in the New English Bible) were crucified with Christ, one on each side. Luke adds that one rebuked the other saying that their punishment was deserved whereas Christ was innocent, and was told by the Saviour, 'Today you shall be with me in Paradise.' (In fulfilment of this promise, he was among those rescued 83 Crucifixion:183 by Christ on the DESCENT INTO LIMBO.) Art, following Luke, distinguished between the penitent and impenitent thief. The good is on

Mary, sitting opposite the grave.' John mentions that Joseph was helped by Nicodemus, 'the man who had first visited Jesus by night' (see NICODEMUS, CHRIST INSTRUCTING), who brought myrrh and aloes to preserve the body. He also adds that the tomb was in a garden near the place of crucifixion. The setting of the scene so that it conforms to the gospels' account presents a problem which artists have handled in various ways. The action may take place in front of a hollow rock, perhaps with a neady

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