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Nature and Its Symbols

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Nature and Its Symbols
By Lucia Impelluso. Translated by Stephen Sartarelli. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2004. Pg. 384. 400 color illustrations.) ISBN: 0-89236-772-5.

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - December 3, 2004

Nature and Its Symbols is the fifth volume in the J. Paul Getty Museum's sensational series, A Guide to Imagery. The first four books in the series are: This book contains 400 illustrations of famous Medieval and Renaissance paintings and tapestries, along with detailed explanations of the symbols used in the paintings. The illustrations are organized into seven thematic sections: Plants, Fruits, Flowers, Land Animals, Aquatic Animals, Flying Animals, and Creatures of the Imagination. Each section includes entries on specific subjects such as Myrtle, Lemons, Dogs, Lizards, Swans, Dolphins, Centaurs, and Poppies.

Each entry contains illustrations of various works of art that contain the specified subject. The illustrations are accompanied by information on the entry topic as well as detailed commentaries on the symbolism of the various items in the pictures as well as the events or people associated with the item under study.

This book is small enough to carry with you when you visit a museum, and is a 'must have' for anyone interested in art. It will prove especially invaluable for students of art and art history.

Other books in this series include:
Related Reviews:

Gods and Heroes in Art, By Lucia Impelluso.
A handy reference guide to the gods and heroes depicted in Western art.

Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy, By Luke Syson and Dora Thornton.
This book takes an intriguing look at how individuals in Renaissance Italy viewed others through the art that they possessed.

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