Christian saints have been the objects of reverence and fascination throughout the past two millennia. Their likenesses, heroic acts, prayerful lives, and stories of martyrdom have been portrayed frequently in art of diverse media. Without familiarity with the saints and their images and symbols, viewers of art may find it challenging to identify, for example, which saint is represented as a monk with an axe through his head, or a beautiful girl holding a wheel, or a woman carrying her eyes on a plate. From Agatha to Zeno, Francis of Assisi to Mary Magdalene, this is a presentation of the characteristic features of more than 100 saints often encountered in sacred Western art. Each saint is introduced by a practical list of his or her unique attributes. Entries also include notes on the saints’ lives and martyrdom and a series of visual references to help the reader recognize these exemplary figures, their histories, and their special devotions. This resource is illustrated with a collection of masterpieces.
J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. Softcover, 384 pp.