Images that tell the story of salvation illustrate saints in various scenes. They are often depicted by an emblem or icon. It used to be that we knew enough about the saints to recognize them in images or artworks without much trouble, but it is becoming a struggle.
Saints and Their Symbols is a solution. It is a guide for recognizing and understanding the saints. This text explains such things as why so many of the saints appear in images with Jesus and the Virgin Mary, yet remain unnamed, which symbols are associated with each saint, and what their roles were in Christian salvation. With full-color images and biographical information about the saints, it is a work of popular religious culture and anthropology.
Fernando Lanzi and Gioia M.G. Lanzi are founders and directors of the Centro Studi Per La Cultura Popolare, a cultural association that studies and researches the expression of the sacred and the Christian faith. Fernando is a member of the Commission on Sacred Art and the Institute for the History of the Church of the Diocese of Bologna and Gioia is a professor of Sacred Art at the Phylosophical Dominican Stadium in Bologna.
A wonderful feature of this book, unlike others out there, is that the authors usually explain the reasons for a particular saint's job as patron through delightfully trivial facts.
The art reproductions are excellent, and the indexes by names and by key words are helpful. There is much to ponder here about the incarnational faith that we share with marvelous people all through the centuries.
Review for Religious
In elaborate paintings, sketches, illustrations, photographs and detailed, interpretive texts, this oversized and brilliantly colorful book is not just a feast for the eyes but nourishment for mind and heart as well. The authors are experts in their field and the commentaries are addressed to our own times. Mindful that Christian faith includes the communion of saints, as the creed attests, those who gaze in wonder at the book's contents may well find themselves stimulated to more generous service in their daily lives.
Saints and Their Symbols will make for a lovely coffee table book and should appeal to all who are interested in the lives and legacies of the treasures of heaven.
A handsome, illustrated book that will make a thoughtful and much-appreciated gift for almost anyone. This books is more than a visual treat; it is a work of scholarship whose contents (including short biographies) ground the saints in both their historical and legendary contexts.
America Catholic Book Club Newsletter
This will be useful for most reference and art libraries due to the rich variety of illustrations and the brilliant treatment it gives to helping us decode the pictorial language that artists use to show our saints.
Catholic Library World
It will be a useful addition to art collections.
Saints and Their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in Art and in Popular Images is a wonderful resource for images and historical information.
National Catholic Reporter
This excellent oversized book gives us the keys to recognizing saints in art by noticing their symbols and the attributes that identify them.
Catholic Library World
For its comprehensiveness, attractiveness, and usefulness as a reference, this work is patently a leading work in its field.
The Midwest Book Review