The Square Halo and Other Mysteries of Western Art: Images and the Stories That Inspired Them

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9780810944633: The Square Halo and Other Mysteries of Western Art: Images and the Stories That Inspired Them

Fisher "translates" the symbolism found in many Old Testament stories, the rich lore of the saints, angels, devils, and monsters, as well as enduring classical myths--which has been lost to many modern readers--revealing not only the true subject matter of the works, but also the drama, color, humor, and ocassional quirkiness of these artistic narratives. 150 illustrations, 134 in color.

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Review:

The very symbols and stories that imbue much of Western art with its meaning and drama are often enigmatic to contemporary viewers. Why, for example, are some saints represented by certain animals, or why are they depicted with square or triangular halos? The answers, which were once clear to viewers of previous eras, are now long-forgotten and obscure. Paintings from earlier centuries can be totally mystifying if viewers do not understand certain iconography and what it once meant to the artist and his or her patrons. Author Sally Fisher, who worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 17 years, bridges that gap with this fascinating, clearly written book. Each of the 150 works of art included (most in full color) illustrates age-old beliefs, stories, and symbols, from Old Testament stories and the lives of the Madonna, Christ, and the saints, to the peculiar symbolism of classical mythology.

From Library Journal:

What does a square halo mean? Why is Saint Lucy carrying a plate of eyeballs? And who is that miniature man in the corner of the painting? Medieval art uses a host of unfamiliar symbols, stories, and devices. Children's book author Fisher (Christmas Journey, Viking, 1993) approaches Western art with the aim of finding out the stories behind the pictures?and she is a wonderful storyteller. Arranged by broad topic, this is not an exhaustive source and does not evaluate style, period, or artists. This is art appreciation without intimidation. Charming and delightful, the only fault is that the pictures are sometimes too small to see some details described in the text. This fascinating tour through the mysterious world of Medieval art would make a wonderful introduction to art history for young adults, students, and curious adults. Highly recommended.?Karen Ellis, Baldwin Boettcher Lib., Humble, Tex.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Fisher, Sally
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Book Description Harry Abrams, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Fisher, Sally. THE SQUARE HALO AND OTHER MYSTERIES OF WESTERN ART. NY: Harry Abrams, c1995. 175pp., index. Imperial 8vo. new hardcover in as new d/j. Bookseller Inventory # 86080

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