The title is perhaps a little misleading: this is not so much a
book to carry around with you to art galleries, as one to browse
through at home in order to learn something about the myths and
symbols artists have used through the ages when depicting mythical
scenes. It lists mythological figures in alphabetical order - first
the classical ones, from Achilles and Actaeon to Vulcan and Zephyr,
and then the Biblical ones from Abraham and Adam to St Ursula and
Zachariah; there are naturally two large sections dealing with
pictures of Christ and the Virgin. Each entry is illustrated with
paintings from the world's galleries, while the text tells the
character's story, lists their attributes and says where other
major paintings of them are to be found. So look up Venus, for
instance, and you find her legend as told by Homer, the fact that
generations of artists have painted her mainly as she rose from the
sea new-born or at her toilet, and that the most important
paintings of her are by Botticelli (Uffizi, Florence), Velasquez
(National Gallery, London), Titian (Borghese, Rome) and the
lesser-known Cabanal, whose ?Birth of Venus' is in the Louvre.
Slightly unexpected choices such as that of Cabanal are one of the
enjoyable features of this book. The editor also notes that pairs
of Venus are not uncommon - a naked Venus having a good time who
represents Profane Love, and a fully draped Venus rather
disapproving of the goings on who represents Sacred Love. The
choice of illustrations is always sound and sometimes pleasantly
surprising and the colour reproduction good, while the often witty
text is based on firm classical and Biblical knowledge. This book
is useful not only to those setting out to appreciate art, but to
those whose interest is already keen. (Kirkus UK)
'Every picture tells a story' - but for many of us the subjects and
themes of the great paintings of Western art are something of a
mystery. The Gallery Companion unravels the legends behind many of
the most popular and frequently painted figures and explains their
symbolism, which is all too often overlooked or misunderstood. What
is the Judgment of Paris? Why does St Catherine have a wheel by her
side, and St Jerome a lion? Who was crucified upside down? Written
in a lively and engaging style, The Gallery Companion includes a
Classical section, detailing the characters from the myths and
histories of ancient Greece and Rome, and a Biblical and Religious
section, describing the figures from the Old and New Testaments as
well as later saints. The text supplies the background to the
character, lists the most famous paintings that depict him or her,
and details the events shown. Other facts, such as why that
particular subject was in vogue, are also included, as well as
variations and discrepancies between treatments of the same subject
matter. Drawing upon the art of the last 800 years, with
descriptions of over 150 characters commonly represented in murals
and on canvas, The Gallery Companion is a beautifully illustrated
guide to many of the most important subjects in painting. It will
be indispensable to all those seeking to enhance their
understanding and enjoyment of Western art.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!