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1000 Symbols

What Shapes Mean in Art and Myth

Rowena Shepherd, Rupert Shepherd

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Traces the significance of 1,000 commonly recognized symbols and places them in historical and cultural context


Symbols are often identified as an international language and, to some extent, they are. But that language is far from universal. Different symbols can mean radically different things in different contexts - a cross, a crane or a swastika could each have a distinct meaning for a Buddhist, an art historian or a student of the occult, for example, and none of those meanings would be quite the same.

1000 Symbols offers you a full explanation: an introductory alphabetical index is followed by groupings of related symbols, every one with an extended definition of its history and its cross-cultural meanings. Whether you are baffled by the relevance of the winged staff held by Mercury in a classical painting, or wonder why the Hebrew menorah has seven branches, this comprehensive reference dictionary will give you the information you're looking for, and place the explanation in both its historical and cultural contexts.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 23.5 x 19.5 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Illustrations: 1157

Publication date: 5 August 2002

ISBN: 9780500283516

About the Author

Rupert Shepherd is a freelance writer specialising in art history.

List of Contributors

Michael Beechey, Linda Carter, Patricia Friedman, Rachel Kennedy, Rebecca Naylor, Julie North, Kate Newnham, Shashi Sen, Andrew Spira, Russell Stephenson, Kate Warren, Helene Watson

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