The Secret Language of the Renaissance: Decoding the Hidden Symbolism of Italian Art

Front Cover
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2006 - Art - 224 pages
During the Renaissance, artists traditionally encoded meanings into symbols, some of which drew upon a traditional repertoire available to educated people in the era. These hidden messages--which ranged from the esoteric to the political to the religious--could be communicated in everything from the position of a hand to the placement of the sun and moon. The Secret Language of the Renaissance helps us discover them anew, as lecturer, author, and director Richard Stemp teaches you the art of reading these paintings. Magnificently illustrated throughout, and with a six-color gold-foil cover, this remarkable book has three distinct parts. The first surveys the literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, and decorative arts of this remarkable period. Section two reviews the essential elements of symbolic language in Renaissance art, including the use of color, geometry, light and shade, composition, proportion, perspective, and body langua≥ the explanatory examples reach from Crivelli’s Annunciation to Donatello’s Mary Magdalene. And the final part features themes including Mythology, War and Peace, and Death and Eternity.
 

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User Review  - Poquette - LibraryThing

Of all the art books/coffee table books I own, this is one of the few I've actually read cover to cover. On the whole, I liked it, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, nor is it a particularly ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
6
Part 1 New Art from Old Ideas
11
Literature
12
Painting
16
Sculpture
22
Architecture
26
The Decorative Arts
30
Part 2 The Language of the Renaissance
35
Stories dr Statements
94
Layers of Meaning
98
Men ef Angels
102
Saints
106
no Virtues dr Vices 114 Gods dr Goddesses
114
The Thematic Decoder
117
The Bible
118
The Church
128

Objects dr their Meanings
36
Emblems dr Abbreviations
40
Colour
44
Light dr Shade
48
Perspective
52
Proportion
56
Sacred Geometry
58
Where dr
62
Old d
66
The World around
70
Body d Mind
74
Gesture dr Body Language
78
Patronage
82
Male dr Female
86
Form dr Function
90
Heaven dr Earth
136
The Antique
144
Mythology
152
Allegory
158
Scholarship
160
Government
174
Power dr Wealth
184
Ward Peace
192
Life dr Society
200
Death dr Eternity
208
Chronology
216
Further Reading
217
Index
218
Acknowledgments
224
Copyright

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