How to Read a Painting

How to Read a Painting

Decoding, Understanding and Enjoying the Old Masters

  1. Patrick de Rynck
  • ISBN 9780500512005
  • 24.00 x 16.80 cm
  • Flexibound PLC (no jacket)
  • 384pp
  • With over 900 colour illustrations
  • First published 2004
‘Easy to follow and a delight to pore over’ – Leisure Painter
‘An interpretative and an explicatory tour de force … ’ – The Scotsman

The perfect companion for art lovers everywhere, 'How to Read a Painting' reveals the Old Masters in a new and richer light.

Clues to the meaning of the masterpieces of art history lie in a rich system of symbols, themes and motifs that often elude the modern eye. Without the intimate knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology, folklore and Christian theology so vivid in the minds of the artists and familiar to their public, we often miss the visual hints that gave contemporary meaning to a painting.

'How to Read a Painting' draws our attention to the imagery and the wonderful, apparently inconsequential details in paintings by Giotto, Botticelli, El Greco, Michelangelo, Rubens, Vermeer, Hogarth, Gainsborough and many more. Brief yet illuminating explanations accompany over 900 colour illustrations, providing the means to interpret and enjoy these and many other works.

Patrick de Rynck is a classicist and translator. He is the author of several books, including an ABC of Classical Literature and a retelling of the Greek myths.