"Symbols of Power in Art" by Paola Rapelli

Symbols of Power in Art Paola Rapelli, Nicole Garnier-Pelle

Paperback / softback
Publication date:
14 Apr 2011
J. Paul Getty Museum
384 pages: 203 x 141 x 26mm
400 full-colour illustrations


This title is a superbly illustrated and insightful guide to the symbols of power in Western art. This latest volume in the acclaimed "Guide to Imagery series" examines the way that sovereign rulers have employed well-defined symbols, attributes and stereotypes to convey their power to their subjects and rivals, as well as to leave a legacy for future generations to admire. Encompassing everything from the legendary rulers of antiquity such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, through medieval leaders like France's Louis IX and the Tsars of Russia, to the great European royal dynasties of the Hapsburgs and the Tudors, exploring how and why they manipulated their images, and what the symbology really meant. A closing chapter is devoted to Napoleon I, arguably the ultimate master of symbolic display.

Paola Rapelli is an art historian living in Italy and the author of books on Goya, Monet, and Kandinsky in the Dorling Kindersley ArtBook series (1999).