A Closer Look: Saints

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A Closer Look: Saints explains, through the National Gallery's comprehensive collection of religious images, the significance of saints and their role in the history of European painting. Erika Langmuir describes how saints became part of the institutions of the Christian church, the different types of saints, and the increasing importance of saintly relics in the Middle Ages.

Explaining the way in which saints were created - the process of canonisation and the promotion of candidates by religious orders, A Closer Look: Saints also provides an introduction to a wide variety of personalities, from the ambiguous penitent Mary Magdalen and the obscure martyrs venerated only by the cities of which they were protectors, to internationally celebrated figures whose sermons and deeds are well documented, such as Saint Jerome or Saint Francis of Assisi.

Saints may be familiar figures in religious paintings, even to non-Christians, but A Closer Look: Saints explains in an authoritative yet accessible style the many ways in which they once played a part in religious practice and in the lives of individuals and communities. 


Erika Langmuir, OBE, (d. 2015) was educated in France and the United States. She taught at the University of Sussex and held the Chair of Art History at the Open University. She was Head of Education at the National Galley (1988-1995). Erika is author of Masterpieces and The National Gallery Companion Guide.


authorErika Langmuir
Colour illustration100
PublishedNov 2009
PublisherNational Gallery Company
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