Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art Paperback – 1961
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"Excellent reference book--well-organized and highly informative--also, moderately priced!"--Marie Canaves, Cape Cod Community College
"Ferguson has brought a dead language back to life. He writes simply and clearly."--The Chicago Tribune
"[A] superb volume."--The Christian Century
"An extraordinarily beautiful and useful book....For clergymen, both Protestant and Catholic, who are interested in liturgies and symbolism, for architects and artists, and for all devotees of art this is an unusually valuable volume."--Kirkus Reviews
"A good book of reference for the general reader."--The Nation
"The publication of this book is an important event. There is no comparable guide in English to the profoundly beautiful symbolism of Christian art."--John Walker, Director Emeritus of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
"Whether as a reference work or as an invitation to fascinating browsing, the book is a treasure."--Journal of Bible and Religion
"An excellent resource with its nicely organized and easy-to-find explanations of persons, symbols, events/beliefs depicted in Christian art. My students found it to be a useful tool as they worked on their interpretations of paintings and other artistic renderings of NT texts. I hope this book will stay in print."--Professor Benjamin Fiore, Canisius College
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Built around the symbol-system of Roman Catholic Church art, Ferguson's book illustrates the ways in which medieval and rennaissance artists tried to visualize scripture and cannon for their illiterate audiences.
Compact and consise, "Signs and Symbols" serves as a perfect bring-along for your next museum trip - but since the reader can look up various saints and doctrines (such as the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues) as well as visual symbols, this book is more than just an art reference.
First-year art students are typically required to use this book in Survey of Western Art 101, but it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any home which aspires to cultural literacy.
Every art historian--student, amateur, or professional--should own a copy of this book. Art lovers will find it a substantial aid to appreciation. It's a great book to take on museum and cathedral tours, e.g. if you intend to travel around Europe. Christians may also find it a helpful meditation aid.
The only real drawback is that Ferguson is limited to Western Christian art. For help with Eastern Christian art symbolism, I recommend starting with Linette Martin's "Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons." It's less like a reference guide and contains few images, but it's a great start.
I look forward to finding more gems like these.
There are no representations from Eastern- or Byzantine- iconography.
The illustrations are all black and white.
Its easy size belies the incredible amount of useful information it contains; there are fourteen sections covering everything from the significance of certain animals to religious garments to a brief hagiography for commonly portrayed saints. About one-third of the book is a set of reproductions (sadly b&w in this edition) of famous renaissance religious paintings. There's no discussion or explanation accompanying the paintings--which is the only thing I don't like about the book.
And if you read one of the earlier reviews and are wondering about the chocolate mouse in Rosemary's Baby, it's a reference to mice as a symbol of evil because of their destructiveness.
For as inexpensive as this book is, you cannot afford NOT to get this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was so glad that this book was still in print. I bought it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gift Shop
when the Paperback was first published in 1961. Read more
Just what I expected to get and right on time, will be using it for a lot of my school papers and personal interests.Published 16 months ago by Salte
This is my "go to" book to recommend to anyone studying renaissance paintings. I sold a number of them when I worked in a museum store. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Pat Vann
This is a wonderful guide to Christian iconography and saints' stories. Good item to take into the European museums laden with
Christian art. Read more
ONLY BLACK And WHITE Illustrations.
I should have upgrade to a hard cover with color plates. Not engaging enough for casual read