on October 12, 2005
this book is awesome! it has info on over 100 saints commonly found in art. stuff like name, time and place of earthly life,what they did, patronage,special devotions, connections to other saints, when they became saints and their feast days are easily found on the sidebar. there is a little biography and then a collection of maybe three paintings and an explanation of who is in the painting and what they are doing as well as the meanings of the objects they are pictured with. for instance, if i ever see a painting of a woman with her hair down pictured with a container of oil or ointment i will know it is mary magdalene. a t-shaped cane is an emblem of St. Anthony Abbot, etc. super useful saint painting decoder.
Books with stories that you can leaf through, without reading linearly from cover to cover, are always fun, and for lovers of medieval art, Saints is one of the best. Lushly illustrated, and formatted somewhat like a travel guide, the mini-biographies summarize what is known about each saint. Representative art works are provided, accompanied by sidebars and annotations with arrows that point out key features. Saints in Art is a valuable resource for anyone wishing to decipher the symbology and iconography contained in the religious works, great and small.
on January 9, 2010
Great book for anyone who visits galleries and wonders why St. Catherine is always depicted with a wheel... With Internet, these days one can Google "Attributes of saints," but this book is great to handle, smell, browse through, even read, from cover to cover. And it is a nice conversation piece on a coffee table.
on July 16, 2013
Another fine book in the series published by the J. Paul Getty Museum. See my reviews of other volumes in the series: "Music in Art" and "Medicine in Art". The text gives short biographies of each saint: if you want more detailed ones, consult Donald Attwater's Penguin Dictionary of Saints, and, of course, if you can get hold of it, Caxton's translation of Jean de Voragine's Golden Legend, with its many preposterous stories. There are explanatory notes to the beautifully reproduced paintings, many of which are little known. The 122 saints dealt with here are only a small fraction of the more than 10,000 canonized saints in the Roman Catholic Church, but even the 122 dealt with here include some which are not all that well known.
on October 15, 2014
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Visually stunning pictures and beautiful artwork fill the pages, with small stories of who's depicted, too! Perfect for a little Catholicism on the go, or in a comfy corner of your house!