Astrology, Magic, and Alchemy in Art

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-12-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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From antiquity to the Enlightenment, astrology, magic, and alchemy were considered important tools to unravel the mysteries of nature and human destiny. As a result of the West's exposure during the Middle Ages to the astrological beliefs of Arab philosophers and the mystical writings of late antiquity, these occult traditions became rich sources of inspiration for Western artists. In this latest volume in the popular Guide to Imagery series, the author presents a careful analysis of occult iconography in many of the great masterpieces of Western art, calling out key features in the illustrations for discussion and interpretation. Astrological symbols decorated medieval churches and illuminated manuscripts as well as fifteenth-century Italian town halls and palaces. The transformational zymology of magic and alchemy that enlivened the work of a wide range of Renaissance artists, including Bosch, Brueghel, Durer, and Caravaggio, found renewed expression in the visionary works of nineteenth-century artists, such as Fuseli and Blake, as well as in the creative output of the twentieth century's Surrealists.

Author Biography

Matilde Battistini is an art critic and the author of Picasso: L'Opera di un genio.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
Astrologyp. 9
Myth and History
The Vault of Heaven
Influence of the Heavens on Earth
Magicp. 131
Fabled Origins
The Great Themes
Practitioners and Practices
Mind and Body
Enchanted Places and Passages
Alchemyp. 251
Allegories and Personifications
Nature and Its Elements
Magistery and Its Phases
Emblems, Tools, and Protagonists
Index of Subjectsp. 373
Index of Artistsp. 374
Sourcesp. 376
Bibliographyp. 382
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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