Matthew Wilson’s new book, The Hidden Language of Symbols, chronicles the buried visual cues of power, faith, uncertainty, and hope.
How to Crack the Catholic Code of the Old Masters
Suzanna Ivanič’s new book Catholica: The Visual Culture of Catholicism is an essential primer on how Catholicism intersects with art history.
The 65 Symbols on US Military Tombstones
While American military cemeteries may look uniform with their rows of cross-adorned tombs, look closer and you’ll find Wiccan Pentacles, Atheist Atoms, and the Hammer of Thor.
From Triangle to Tiger, a Handbook for Understanding Symbols
Mark Fox and Angie Wang’s Symbols: A Handbook for Seeing is a guide to the evolution of symbolism using 400 examples from art history.
How a 19th-Century Painter Turned from Reality to Fantasy
In his early, clear-eyed paintings, Henri Fantin-Latour’s subject was the reality of the observable world itself. Toward the end of his career, faithful reproductions no longer satisfied the artist.
An Artist Embraces the Magic Symbols that Helped Send Him to Death Row
At Day for Night festival, Damien Echols invited visitors to engage with the occult symbols that helped lead to his wrongful murder conviction.
The Mystery of the Three Hares Motif
An enigmatic trio of rabbits running in a circle appears on centuries of art, from medieval churches in England to Buddhist caves in China.
Flowers of Evil and the Macabre Literary Imagination of Symbolism
Symbolist artists — including Aubrey Beardsley, Jean Delville, and Odilon Redon — were united less by style than by their shared intention of illustrating invisible aspects of human experience.
350 Years After the Great Plague, Its Skeletal Reaper Remains
Death as a skeletal grim reaper was cemented as a symbol during the plagues in Europe, which stretched from the 14th to 18th centuries.
Looking for Leonardo in van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace at Night”
Did Vincent van Gogh hide an homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in one of his most famous paintings?