This lavish collection of religious portraiture focuses on a selection of saints who inspired artists and their patrons. In the history of western art perhaps no commission was more important or challenging than the depiction of the saints. Popes, emperors, noblemen and patricians sought the talents of the most revered artists of their time to adorn their churches, monasteries, and homes with these potent images. Now in an appealing combination of religious art and history this unique volume brings together 150 illustrations of both beloved and little-known saints.
Arranged according to the festival dates in the Christian Calendar, The World of Saints features vibrant reproductions by such artists as van Eyck, Fra Angelico, Dürer, Raphael, Leonardo, Caravaggio, El Greco, and Rubens. Double-page spreads include information about the stories of eighty of the most important saints and explanations of their attributes, along with interesting facts about the genesis of the works, which include paintings, altarpieces, frescoes, and sculptures. In addition, more than one hundred lesser-known saints are identified in a useful lexicon, along with an illustrated index of symbols listing each saint’s characteristics. The introductory essay provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of saintly devotion.