Containing 1,340 illustrated articles, provides an unparalleled guide to the figures who have dominated the visual art throughout the ages. International in scope and coverage, the book contains authoritative entries on non-Western artists as well as more familiar figures. Each article summarizes the development of an artists's style and important works against a background of relevant biographical information and assesses his or her lasting contribution to the arts.
The understanding and enjoyment of a work of art depends as much on the story it depicts as on the artists execution of it. This book relates in a succinct and readable way the themes, sacred and secular, on which the repertoire of Western art is based. More than just a dictionary, this text places these subjects in their narrative, historical, or mythological context and uses extensive cross-referencing to enhance and clarify the meanings of these themes for the reader.