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Animals in Art from the Ice Age to Our Age

Christopher Masters

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A gift book to delight and inspire, brimming with beasts real and imagined, from every age and culture around the world

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Bestiary is a wonderfully visual, thematic exploration of animals – real, surreal and imaginary – as depicted on beautiful ritual objects and works of art. Famous artworks mix with little-seen artefacts from every age and around the globe, offering a fresh perspective and new comparisons to stimulate the mind.

Art historian Christopher Masters is a clear and informative guide, illuminating familiar masterpieces and bringing lesser-known treasures into the light. Arranged thematically into five chapters, his book depicts animals in intelligent pairings and groupings of images that encourage the reader to find and learn the cultural context and connections between the origins of many different civilizations. An ancient Egyptian bronze divine cat sits next to a 19th-century print of English domestic feline bliss; a miniature Ice Age mammoth faces an ancient engraved drawing of a horse; the royal lion hunt is played across the walls of Ashurbanipal’s palace in Assyrian Nineveh; a Minoan acrobat leaps onto the back of a 3,500-year-old bull; while a Roman marble gives vivid life to the Persian legend of Mithras and the Bull.

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'A wonderful visual, thematic exploration … this book will enchant animal lovers'
Antiques Diary

'Beautifully designed and illustrated, and intrigues, inspires, and entertains in equal measure'
London Visitors

Gazette & Herald

'The British Museum and Thames & Hudson always produce beautiful books and this is no exception … couldn’t be improved'
Chikaru Reads

'Hunting is the oldest occupation of mankind. In this beautiful book this relationship is clearly shown by the images we have made of animals through many thousands of years'
Yorkshire Gazette and Herald

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 19.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 268

Publication date: 20 September 2018

ISBN: 9780500480236

Contents List

1. Introduction 2. Animals of the Wild 3. Domestic 4. Exotic 5. Symbolic 6. Hybrids & Mythical Creatures 7. Further reading 8. List of Illustration References 9. Index

About the Author

Christopher Masters is a writer and lecturer on art. He contributes to the Guardian newspaper and is the author of Dalí and Renaissance.