This volume examines the ways that sovereign rulers have employed well-defined symbols, attributes, and stereotypes to convey their power to their subjects and rivals, as well as to leave a legacy for subsequent generations to admire. Legendary rulers from antiquity such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Constantine have been looked to as models for their display of imperial power by the rulers of later eras. From medieval sovereigns such as Charlemagne and France's Louis IX to the tsars of Russia and the great European royal dynasties of the Hapsburgs, the Bourbons, and the Tudors, the rulers of each period have appropriated and often embellished the emblems of power employed by their predecessors. Even the second-tier lords who ruled parts of France and Italy during the Renaissance, such as the dukes of Burgundy, the Gonzaga of Mantua, and the Medici of Florence became adept at manipulating this imagery. The final chapter is reserved for Napoleon I, perhaps the ultimate master of symbolic display, who assumed the attributes of Roman emperors to project an image of eternal and immutable authority. The author examines not only regal paraphernalia such as crowns, scepters, thrones, and orbs, but also the painted portraits, sculptures, tapestries, carved ivories, jewelry, coins, armor, and, eventually, photographs created to display their owner's sovereign power, a vast collection of works that now forms a significant portion of the cultural heritage of Western civilization.
The motifs are organized according to broad thematic categories such as "the cosmos, heaven and earth" and "animals of the land and sea," among others, allowing for broad reading on a number of topics of interest to a wide variety of readers, including collectors of Asian art and students of Japan.".
"A Companion volume to James Hall’s perennial seller Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art. which deals with the subject matter of Christian and Western art, the present volume includes the art of Egypt, the ancient Near East, Christian and classical Europe, India and the Far East. Flail explores the language of symbols in art showing how paintings, drawings and sculpture express man shades of meaning from simple, everyday hopes and fears to the profoundest philosophical and religious aspirations. The book explains and interprets symbols from many cultures, and over 600 illustrations clarify and complement the text. There are numbered references throughout the text to the sacred Iitcra-1 ture, myths and legends in which the symbols had their origins. Details of English translations of the works are in the bibliography. The book includes an appendix of the transcription of Chinese, notes and references, bibliography, chronological tables and index."
Icons of Power investigates why the image of the cat has been such a potent symbol in the art, religion and mythology of indigenous American cultures for three thousand years. The jaguar and the puma epitomize ideas of sacrifice, cannibalism, war, and status in a startling array of graphic and enduring images. Natural and supernatural felines inhabit a shape-shifting world of sorcery and spiritual power, revealing the shamanic nature of Amerindian world views. This pioneering collection offers a unique pan-American assessment of the feline icon through the diversity of cultural interpretations, but also striking parallels in its associations with hunters, warriors, kingship, fertility, and the sacred nature of political power. Evidence is drawn from the pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya of Mexico, Peruvian, and Panamanian civilizations, through recent pueblo and Iroquois cultures of North America, to current Amazonian and Andean societies. This well-illustrated volume is essential reading for all who are interested in the symbolic construction of animal icons, their variable meanings, and their place in a natural world conceived through the lens of culture. The cross-disciplinary approach embraces archaeology, anthropology, and art history.
A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest is the first specifically designed key to the interpretation of American rock art. Interest in the subject has grown significantly among professional archaeologists and informed lay persons in recent years, but the purpose and meaning that the intriguing symbols had for their creators remain a mystery. Although the significance of the symbols will never be known for certain, educated guesses can be made.The "Field Guide" brings together 600 commentaries on specific rock art symbols by over one hundred archaeologists, anthropologists, researchers, and Native American informants. Intended to be used in the field, as well as a reference, the book includes a pictorial key at the beginning and is organized by tentative meaning or by description.The reader can easily find the one or several of the 500 illustrations that most closely match the rock art symbol in question. Patterson emphasizes the tentative nature of the interpretations and has included an index by neutral archaeological description as well as complete documentation of every excerpted comment. The range of the book is from the northern states of Mexico to Utah and from California to Colorado.
This exhibition features treasures from the Nanjing Museum organized under the theme Symbols of Power in the tomb, in the temple, at court and beyond. Highlights are archaic bronzes, jade carvings, tomb figures, sino-Tibetan sculptures, embroideries and Ming and Qing porcelains.