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Painting the Word

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About the Author

John Drury is Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.


Historic Christianity is a foreign country, and we are tourists, just visiting but often not understanding. Drury offers a guidebook of sorts to help the contemporary reader decipher the messages conveyed in Christian art. Priest, scholar, and dean of Christ Church at Oxford, Drury is well qualified to offer this course. Using paintings from the 14th to 17th centuries, he attempts to show us the breadth and depth of culture at that time so that we can better understand the theology and meaning behind Christian art. Aiming at the educated lay reader, Drury peppers the chapters with poetry and Bible quotes. The paintings discussed are selective, focusing on religious theme rather than periods. Though one wishes the illustrations had been bigger, this well-written art history and art appreciation is a delight to read. Highly recommended for larger public libraries or any art history collection.--Karen Ellis, Nicholson Memorial Lib. Syst., Garland, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"A superb book: never has the art of looking been more clearly and pervasively - not explained, but demonstrated." Sister Wendy Beckett "Stimulating." Stephen Prickett, Times Literary Supplement "John Drury approaches his quest with a great warmth of intellect and his enthusiasm is engaging... a lovely piece of writing." Christopher Colven, The Art Newspaper "An informative, inspiring book, the reading of which will make your next visit to your local museum of fine arts a more rewarding experience - visually, emotionally and spiritually." Franco Mormando, America "Renaissance art aficionados will want this book as their gallery companion." Publishers Weekly "An ambitious book that is magnificently successful. In its lavishly illustrated pages, Drury combines commentary that is both artistic criticism and devotional appreciation, and both of a high order. A companion to keep and return to again and again." First Things "Drury offers a guidebook to help the contemporary reader decipher the messages conveyed in Christian art. This well-written art history and art appreciation is a delight to read." Library Journal

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