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The Hidden Life of Renaissance Art

Secrets and Symbols in Great Masterpieces


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This beautiful volume will open your eyes to the messages that the great masters of Renaissance art conveyed through symbols and visual codes. As you linger over its pages, you’ll learn how to decipher all kinds of hidden clues to the deeper meanings that lie beneath the artistry of a painting’s surface.

REVIEWS OF The Hidden Life of Renaissance Art

This copiously illustrated book makes the case that, far from doing away with the medieval mania for allegory, the Renaissance only redoubled it, thanks to the neo-platonic notion that the material was just a bodying forth of the ideal. It’s in part a fact-packed reference companion: know your classical gods and goddesses, your saints and sacraments at a glance. Gibson'’s great contribution, though, is in the lucid way she anatomises a range of Renaissance masterpieces, teasing out the complex meanings that inform the ravishing beauty of these works.” - The Scotsman

'“If someone you know is a fan of Renaissance art, a present of this book will go down a treat. The sumptuous paintings reproduced in its pages are worth the cover price alone, with masterpieces from Renaissance greats Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Holbein in all their glory. However, it'’s the detailed historical context and the information provided about how to decipher the hidden messages encoded within the paintings that make it a fascinating read. A gem.' - Michelle Stanistreet, Sunday Express

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The Hidden Life of Renaissance Art

About the author

Clare Gibson