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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Imagine all the peoples . . .

There are a lot of books, usually for kids, devoted to mythologies of all kinds, either the European classical lore or those of specific times and areas, or miscellaneous. Christopher Dell's guide deals with many mythologies, from Ancient Greece to the Far East, from Egyptian gods to Nordic heroes, both in their 'noblest' and in their 'folk' expressions, but, unlike many other books, does not fall into the mistake of pontificating on traditions that don't belong us: it simply provides some basic pieces of information, then lets its wonderful pictures 'speak.' Readers, or rather watchers will find hundreds of paintings, prints, sculptures, etc., either famous works or nearly unknown masterpieces. An interesting feature of this collection is that it shows many works of the 18th century, surely not often capitalized in the history of sacred art.

Christopher Dell, Mitologie. Guida ai mondi immaginati, Milan: L'ippocampo, 2013 [orig. ed., Mythology: The Complete Guide to Our Imagined Worlds, Thames & Hudson, 2012], 352 pages with hundreds of pictures, euros 25