Symbols are often identified as an international language and, to some extent, they are. But that language is far from universal. Different symbols can mean radically different things in different contexts - a cross, a crane or a swastika could each have a distinct meaning for a Buddhist, an art historian or a student of the occult, for example, and none of those meanings would be quite the same 1000 Symbols offers the reader a full explanation: an introductory alphabetical index is followed by groupings of related symbols, every one with an extended definition of its history and its cross-cultural meanings. Whether you are baffled by the relevance of the winged staff held by Mercury in a classical painting, or wonder why the Hebrew menorah has seven branches, this comprehensive reference dictionary will give you the information you're looking for, and place the explanation in both its historical and cultural contexts.
Rupert Shepherd is a freelance writer specialising in art history. Since graduating from the Courtauld Institute he has written two books on Renaissance art, and is currently working on a book about the history of the Palace of Westminster. Rowena Shepherd is an art historian currently working for English Heritage. Rachel Kennedy is a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum. She specializes in the art of the 18th century, and has contributed entries on the symbolism of art to a number of dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
Symbol Finder 1. Geometrical Shapes - 2. The Universe - 3. Characters and People - 4. Living Creatures - 5. Flowers, Plants and Trees - 6. Mythical Beasts - 7. Objects and Artefacts - 8. Numbers and Colours
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