Visions of Christmas.
London, ENG: Frances Lincoln Ltd. (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast)
Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.
A triptych is an image in three parts. Folding triptychs, where two hinged wings flank a central panel, were a very popular form of devotional painting in the fifteenth century. The more important interiors of the triptych could be protected by closing the wings; the exteriors, which were usually exposed to dirt and burning candles, were painted less colourfully or in monochrome to suggest stone sculpture and finished with simple ungilded frames.What person would not enjoy this magnificent book of Renaissance art? The paintings of early Renaissance artists Hans Memling, Robert Campin, Hugo van der Goes and others tell the story of the first Christmas. The paintings are reproduced in rich colours on heavy stock, with text from the King James version of the Bible on facing pages. Most fascinating of all is being able to open the doors or wings of the triptychs to examine the paintings within.
Some 'visions' in this book reunite the wings and panels of divided triptychs, allowing the viewer for the first time in many years the experience of unfolding the wings to reveal contrasting glories within.
At the conclusion is an "Index of Paintings" section with short biographies of each artist and an interpretation of the paintings. Permission to reproduce these works of art were given by several museums and galleries throughout Europe as well as by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Joan Payzant is former teacher and teacher-librarian who lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - DECEMBER 12, 1997.
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