A Dictionary of Art Titles: The Origins of the Names and Titles of 3,000 Works of Art

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McFarland Publishers, 2000 - Art - 288 pages
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The titles of artworks can often be misleading, and their relationship to a painting or sculpture difficult to discern. Often, a title requires previous knowledge of history, religion or mythology. Sometimes, the title reflects the ownership or history of the painting, its subjects or patrons, but does not explain them. Many titles are allusive and by their nature open ended--for example, The Escape does not explain the cause, the motivation, or anything else about the escape. Finally, some titles defy all logic and seem to have little to do with the artwork.
This dictionary of 3,000 works of art explains the meaning behind the titles. The titles, mostly of paintings and sculpture, but also of some less traditional media, are arranged alphabetically by original title or English title (with post-18th century French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian works usually given in their own language, and occasionally other works as well); each entry provides an English title when necessary, the artist's name, when known, the date of creation, the present location unless a work is not extant, and an explanation of the title. A bibliography and an index of artists are included.

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A dictionary of art titles: the origins of the names and titles of 3, 000 works of art

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A well-published toponymist and onomastician (that is, he is a wordsmith, not an art historian), Room has set out to clarify 3000 misleading titles of artworks. Pointing out that often a title ... Read full review


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