The Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art by James Hall
James Hall's book explores the language of symbols in art. He shows us how familiar, everyday objects in paintings, drawings and sculpture often carry a deeper layer of meaning. Interpreting this language is a fascinating study. The author's work, "Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art", deals with the symbolism of Christian and classical art. Here, the horizons are wider. He now includes the art of ancient Egypt and the Near and Far East whose civilizations employed a great variety of art forms that expressed many shades of meaning, from simple, everyday hopes and fears to the profoundest philosophical and religious aspirations. Each had its own, clearly distinguished language of symbols. This book provides their keys, comparing and contrasting one with another; An essential feature of the book is its illustrations. There are over 600, each one carefully chosen so that it throws light on a less familiar aspect of a (usually) familiar object. Chris Puleston, the artist who made these drawings, is a follower of Hinduism and has a wide knowledge of Hindu and Buddhist art. There are numbered references, throughout the text, to the sacred literature, myths and legends in which the symbols had their origin. Details of English translations of these works will be found in the Bibliography.