- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
- Pages: 384
- Illustrations: 1,000 in full color
- Binding: Flexi-cover
- Dimensions: 7'' x 10''
- Format: Paperback
- Author: Patrick de Rynck
- ISBN: 9780810955769
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Behind the striking realism of the Old Master paintings lies a system of symbols, themes, and motifs whose meaning has been obscured by time. The knowledge of Christian iconography, Greek and Roman mythology, and folklore so vivid in the minds of their contemporaries is less and less a part of the preparation the modern museum-goer brings to a painting. This book decodes the imagery of more than one hundred paintings by Italian, Netherlandish, German, and Spanish masters. The clues to understanding their meanings— commonplace representations like flowers, plants, food, and animals—are revealed and cross- referenced in other paintings that contain similar symbols and comparable themes.
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