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Guides to Iconography & Symbolism
GUIDES TO ICONOGRAPHY AND SYMBOLISM
- Old Testament Figures in Art
- Gospel Figures in Art
Gods and Heroes in Art
- Retelling the stories of figures from the Bible and classical mythology, these books are illustrated with full-color reproductions of art works from the Renaissance and later, to illustrate how these stories have frequently been represented in the visual arts.
- Butler's Lives of the Saints
Saints and Their Emblems
Saints in Art
- Butler is the standard, authoritative, classic source of biographical information on the principal saints. The basic arrangement is by feast day. The others describe how individual saints have been represented in works of art and can be very helpful in understanding the scenes in which saints are depicted.
- Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art
Dictionary of Symbols in Western Art
Symbols and Legends in Western Art
- These are exactly what they sound like, providing brief definitions for a wide range of subjects, themes, and concepts encountered in Western art. They supplement each other; so, don't pick only one!
- Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography
Iconographie de l'Art Chretien by Louis Reau
Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller
Iconographie de l'art profane au Moyen-Age et a la Renaissance by Raimond van Marle
- The first of these books discusses both secular and religious iconography by broad themes or activities (e.g., envy or expulsion). The others are classics in the field. Even if your French is not that good, it is worth consulting Reau or van Marle. All deal with the variations and evolution of major iconographic themes. Bibliographical references and numerous illustrations are also provided.