The Secret Language of the Renaissance: Decoding the Hidden Symbolism of Italian Art

The Secret Language of the Renaissance: Decoding the Hidden Symbolism of Italian Art

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The Secret Language of the Renaissance: Decoding the Hidden Symbolism of Italian Art

We may never know what the Mona Lisa is smiling about, but we do know that there's much more to the masterpieces of Renaissance art than the beauty that meets the eye. Renaissance works conceal a trove of secrets more fascinating than fiction! In this magnificently illustrated guide, an expert art historian gives you the key to unlock those secrets for yourself.

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404004654236

Richard Stemp

We may never know what the Mona Lisa is smiling about, but we do know that there's much more to the masterpieces of Renaissance art than the beauty that meets the eye. There are layers of significance below the surface of works by Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Donatello, Michelangelo, and other masters.

In the mind of the Renaissance artist, meaning took shape through symbols: everything from peacocks to centaurs conveyed a message. Often these meanings drew on a traditional symbolic vocabulary, a common language available to educated people of the time but largely lost to modern viewers.Occasionally, a painter, sculptor, or architect encoded a more specific meaning in a canvas or a text, a bust or a building-perhaps even an explosive political sentiment or an encrypted expression of heretical faith. All in all, Renaissance works conceal a trove of secrets more fascinating than fiction! In this magnificently illustrated guide, an expert art historian gives you the key to unlock those secrets for yourself.


  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • 9 × 7 × 1 inches
  • Published 2018
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